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Sometimes, That’s the Way the Mercedes-Benz

Betty Curry, 67, of Harrisonburg believes that “there are angels among us.”
One such celestial visitor came to her rescue along busy Interstate 95 as she and good friends Jodi Wirth and Janelle Jordan were returning from a vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The trio was zipping along about 70 miles per hour, about 20 miles from the North Carolina-Virginia border when Betty noticed an object on the highway. Not wanting to swerve because they were surrounded by other vehicles, she had no choice but to hit it.

Her 2003 Mercedes CLK 320 coupe immediately started to smoke, and oil shot all over the road. Betty was able to drift out of traffic, pulled off the interstate and put on the hazard signals.

Jodi and Janelle have roadside service, but their repeated calls for assistance went unanswered. They put up the hood, grabbed beach towels and sat in the grass. No Good Samaritan happened along.

Janelle was able to call her mother in Fulks Run. The family contacted a towing service in Broadway that would eventually come and pick up the disabled car.

The trio had been sitting about 45 minutes, wondering what to do next, when a small black car pulled off the road close to them. Betty came over as a young man got out and started talking about the disabled Mercedes.

“I recognize this car,” the man said.

“This car?” Betty responded, incredulously.

“Did you buy it at Mid-Atlantic Motor Werkes (in Harrisonburg)?” he asked.

“Yes!” Betty exclaimed.

The “stranger” was Boris Pekun, who said he works at Mid-Atlantic, knew the car and asked where the three women were from.

“Harrisonburg,” Betty replied. “Me, too!” said Boris.

Boris offered to take the trio to their homes, but he couldn’t fit all the suitcases into his vehicle. The women pulled together the necessities – no, I won’t even touch that – and left everything else in the Mercedes.

Before they left, Boris checked the car carefully to make certain that a tow truck could pick it up without causing more damage.

In getting acquainted en route to Harrisonburg, Boris told the ladies that he had been at the beach, too, and had actually started to depart for home the previous night, then changed his mind. Had he stayed with his original game plan, he never would have “chanced upon” the damsels in distress.

Boris said that he’s long admired European cars and “knows them well,” which helped him recognize the immobilized vehicle.

The car was towed to Mid-Atlantic, where Dallas Hummel, who had sold her the Mercedes, called the insurance company. “He (Dallas) was most helpful in handling insurance details and arranging the repair work,” Betty said.

She also credits Jason Zook, the mechanic at Mid-Atlantic, with “helping with the insurance claim” and with “keeping me updated on the progress of my car.”

Although the car received about $4,300 in damages, much of it was restricted to the undercarriage.

The repair work was completed in one week, Betty noted. Allstate Insurance Company had a check in her hand within a week, and she was back on the road again.

Does Betty Curry, who works part time in the business office at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, think this occurrence was simply a coincidence?

“What are the odds that a person will come along a busy major highway when you’re in trouble, recognize the disabled car, turn out to be from the same area and have the mechanical know-how to deal with the situation?” she said.

For Betty, the episode was an angelic visitation along the highway to heaven.


Column by Jim Bishop

augusta free press news
augusta free press news