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Kathy B., age 18, was driving home from Wausau, Wisconsin on her way back from visiting a friend. Her blue, two door Dodge Polaris convertible with a white top consumes oil more than the cars she has owned in previous years. Driving one way to Wausau was enough before the oil needed to be exchanged again.
Her friend Kelly’s little brother, Kyle, is a car fanatic and offers to change the oil whenever Kathy visits. All the Polaris needs is one skipped oil change for the easy drive back to Menomonee Falls to become “a trip to remember,” Kathy said.
After passing the exit for FonduLac Kathy’s red check engine light illuminated the dash board.
“I went about another 20 miles and I heard this huge bang from under the hood,” Kathy explained.
“I opened the hood to the smell of steam coming from my radiator.” She figured there was no hope trying to fix it. “I’m a girl, cars is more of a guy thing.”
Kathy turned on her orange emergency lights and sat in her car waiting for a police man to pass by.
After two hours of waiting, Kathy decided to walk to the standard station at the exit two miles from her car. After walking 20 feet, a dark car with a father driving and his son in the passenger seat pulled up next to her.
“It’s not safe to walk on the side of the highway,” the man stated.
Kathy told the man that she is merely walking to the standard station at the next exit.
He persisted saying, “No, it’s not safe.”
After five minutes of discussing, Kathy opened the door and sat down in the back seat of the car. The man waited for Kathy to put on her seatbelt, and then slowly pressed down the accelerator.
“Sir, I wanted to get off at that exit you just passed,” Kathy said with fear in her voice.
The man began to ramble off excuses.
“Where do you live?” The man asked.
Kathy told him she lives in Menomonee Falls and that her father was expecting
her to be home at five p.m. Kathy looked at the clock. It was seven p.m.
“Well that’s not far, we’ll drive you home,” the man said.
With fear on her face, Kathy leaned back into her seat and prayed to god that she would make it home.
After what felt like an hour passed by, the father started to tells stories to Kathy. His son was sent to court for armed robbery and was given the choice to either go to jail or join the army. In the end the son chose to join the army and serve his country. And for the next week he is on leave before returning back to base.
“Now I am sitting next to a guy who could be in jail,” Kathy said to herself.
As they drove closer to Menomonee Falls Kathy told the man what exit to get off at. The man passed the exit again. But he got off at the next exit to Kathy’s relief.
“Okay, drop me off. I can walk from here,” Kathy pleaded.
“Oh no, tell us where you live,” the man said sternly.
Kathy had given up on fighting with this man. She knew that he was going to get his way whether she liked it or not.
Kathy told the man where she lived.
The man and his son drove Kathy to her house and up her driveway, where Kathy’s father had persistently been waiting since five that afternoon.
“I was so glad to be home safe. I was afraid those guys were going to do something,” Kathy stated. “They could have driven me out of the state.”
“My dad was so mad at me, but I was so relieved to be home.”
“Even though he yelled at screamed at me, and threatened to ground me for the rest of my life, I was still happy to see him,” Kathy said.