Context: I'm traveling in the U.K. with my family via rental car. We've finished our morning in Cambridge, spent the afternoon in Epworth and was on our way to Manchester.
We were driving through this tiny town near Epworth on with tiny road alongside what used to be a river which is now is basically a drain ditch. The road is much too narrow for two cars to fit. My brother was driving- he'd done his best to slow down and move to the edge so when an opposite car came speeding down (for some reason cars zoom down this road regardless if there's a car on the other side or not).
There happened to be a car opposite of us who didn't make the effort to drive along the edge for both of us to fit. One thing led to another and our car ended up skimming off the road against grass and gravel, not too far off the ditch. Our car was at an angle which made the situation quite dangerous, and our car was stuck, unable to get it back on the road. I was in the passenger seat, on the ditch side (since the roads and drivers sit at the opposite side in the UK).
A man in a truck, two cars behind us stopped in front of us to help. He inspected the situation and tried to help us get it out. Our best bet was to first get this car back on the road and off this dangerous angle. As my dad and this man prepared to push this car out of the ditch, another car stopped behind us, where another man got out to help push. Both of these men, who didn't know us, didn't know our names, didn't know our story, pushed this car with all their might without question. Once they finally got it on the road, the man who came latter literally got back in his car and drove off like it was no one's business.
Our car came out with minimal damage to the exterior, but the two tires on the left were both punctured completely. The first man man who came to help advised we find a tire shop (or 'tyre' as they say) + tow truck to get the tires replaced. He called a bunch of places for us. Both tire and tow shops closed between 5-6 and it was nearing 5pm already so we were getting really anxious. (Side note: Most memorable thing about him is that he either started or finished his sentences with 'mate' or 'love.' It was oddly endearing.)
We found a tire tire shop willing to wait until we got there but still needed a towing company. The places we called were either closed, didn't take care, couldn't process our card correctly, or would take too long to get to us. Most of these places were crazy expensive as well. After about 20 minutes trying to make phone calls with us, the man who helped needed to leave. We asked how we could repay him. We wanted to offer him some money or pay for a meal, but he insisted that we not, and that it was no problem at all. He drove off leaving us completely dazed of his kindness and willingness to help. My biggest regret is that I didn't even have a chance to ask him his name.
I bought some credit on Skype to make more calls to find a towing service. After many calls, I found a tow truck who was closer and cheaper than all the other places we called. They even called ahead to the tire service for us letting them know we'd be on our way since they had a good relationship. As you know, a tow truck only fits about 2 passengers, so the tow truck man had his son bring another car to escort my parents to the tire shop. Surely enough, the tire man was waiting for us, not at all bitter or grouchy that we made him stay half an hour passed closing. We put on some used tires and was on our way.
The entire incident probably lasted 2.5 hours but felt so much longer. It was such a shitty experience but I've decided to focus on the good because:
I know they'll never read this, but a huge shoutout and thank you to the men who helped push our car out, the tow truck family business that was willing to stay open and help us, and the tire shop man who stayed open for us as well. <3
Shit happens. 🤷🏻♀️ At least this is an experience I will never forget.