CREEDS — This happened a couple days after the big snow last month, when kids were home from school for a week and the roads were nonsense.

Lori Ann Bates had been out in her truck to go to Red Mill. She had it in four wheel drive, and she left it that way. 

She’s not much for driving in snow. Her late husband had done all the driving. He was from upstate New York, and driving in the snow was nothing to him.

Scott Bates died in September 2015. Back when he passed, Lori Ann Bates worked at Blackwater Trading Post. She lives in Gibbs Woods, N.C., just south of Blackwater, with her son, Zachary Bates.  She remembers the goodness of the community when she lost her husband. 

She was reminded again of that goodness when she drove in the snow a few days after the storm. She went to work at the R-Co in Creeds. It was that Monday afternoon, and the roads were better.

She thought the truck was out of four wheel drive. When she got off her shift, she drove to drop off a coworker before heading home to Gibbs Woods. 

She made it halfway between work and Monk’s Place on Princess Anne Road, but something went wrong.

“It was a grinding sound,” she recalled, “but not only could you hear it, you could feel it grinding underneath.”

Bates called a friend. Her colleague headed back to work for help.

“That’s when Kyle stopped,” Bates said.

Bates isn’t sure of his last name. He pulled up in what she remembers as a black pickup. He asked whether everything was okay? Did she need some help?

She did. He told her not to panic. That they would figure out the problem. He drove past her to get his truck behind hers.

The police came, too. They were nice, Bates said. The truck shouldn’t sound like that, one of them told her.

She recalled her father saying something about a truck not going all the way into drive and locking up. So she fiddled with it a bit, and the truck moved some. 

You’re moving now, one of the officers said.

She had to get the truck off the road She asked the police to follow her to Monk’s. 

Of course, the police said.

“And here comes Kyle,” Bates said.

He agreed that the truck hadn’t been all the way out of four wheel drive.

We got it, he said.

The officers left. Bates said Kyle explained it all to her.

“He explained it in a way I not only would remember but understand,” she said.

Bates had another request because she wasn’t sure about the truck and it was about 10 miles to get home.

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but could you jump in the driver’s seat?”

So Kyle took her truck on  a short test drive. She realized she’d left her purse and phone in the truck, but she knew that he would come back.

As he did.

You should be fine, he said.

She asked his name, shook his hand. 

She got home. She left a note about her experience on Facebook. People kept suggesting local Kyles, but she wasn’t sure.

“People like Kyle and the officers who stopped are the biggest reason that I love living out here,” she wrote on social media.

Bates said she wants to thank the officers by talking about this. 

And she wants to thank Kyle.

“It may have been a small thing in the course of his day, but it was a huge thing for me,” she said.

© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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