Rush hour swept past Autumn Love on Cherry Road, near the Interstate 77 Exit 82 around 7:20 a.m. Wednesday. People scrambled to get to work in Rock Hill, just like Love was doing. Until her car died right in the middle of six lanes of traffic.
Love thought she was stranded, without help. Some stuff meant to stop radiator leaks did nothing but stop her on one of Rock Hill’s busiest roads at one of the busiest times.
“I was kind of panicking,” Love said.
The cavalry arrived.
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A pair of S.C. Highway Patrol officers pulled up behind her with their car light bar on for safety. Troopers Phillip Harrell and James Reap pulled out no ticket books. They leaped out of their car and told Love: “Get in. We got you.”
Love hopped back in to steer and the two officers heaved and pushed and rolled her car off the road into a parking lot.
They asked Love if she was fine, and could call for help, she said she was.
The officers called out “Merry Christmas” and jogged back to their patrol car.
“No problem,” said Reap, a trooper for five years after a stint with the Chester Police Department. “Happy to help.”
Harrell, a corporal with 11 years in the highway patrol, said officers saw a busy road and a lone female motorist in heavy traffic. The response was immediate.
“We were not going to let a lady sit there in the middle of the road,” Harrell said.
The officers refused praise. Each said their actions were part of their job. No big deal.
But it was a big deal to Autumn Love. She sure wanted to praise these two men.
“Two nice police officers got out of their car, and they helped me move my car over here so that I would not be in the midst of traffic, and I was out of the way,” Love said.
Autumn Love said this to these two officers who stopped.
“I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.”