KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A flat tire or empty gas tank become dangerous when getting stranded on the side of the road means getting stranded in stifling temperatures. Motorist Assist drivers are scouring highways to help.
"Basically we're looking for trouble," laughed Anthony Snorgrass, a MoDOT employee of more than three years. "It's kind of going to work everyday where people are happy to see you."
He'll drive around 300 miles and help a dozen stranded drivers but in this heat, he'll rush to them even faster.
"You don't know if someone broken down has a medical condition and needs to be in air conditioning," he said. "You don't know if someone broken down has babies or an infant in the car that can't handle the heat."
An hour into our ride-along, Snorgrass got his first customer. He pulled up behind the white SUV parked on the shoulder of I-435 with hazard lights blinking. "How's it going?"
"We just need some gas!" said a sweaty Antonio Coates. He was headed to the gas station on foot when Motorist Assist arrived. "He became a blessing real quick," laughed Coates. "If I could air condition the world I would, as hot as it is out here... I would have been walking, my feet getting hot, sweating."
Snorgrass set out some cones, pulled a gallon of gas from his 'Swiss Army Knife of a truck' as he calls it, and quickly poured it in their tank. In minutes,they were on their way.
"Thank God for motor assistance!" laughed Coates.
Snorgrass climbed back in his truck and wiped his brow. "
Gave a gallon of gas and back in service," he radioed back.
Putting the truck back into gear, Snorgrass sighed what we'll all be thinking for maybe a long time. "It's hot. uggh."
Snorgrass suggests checking all your fluids, your gas tank and your tires before heading out the door, especially during heat like this.
If you do become stranded and need the help of Motorist Assist, you can call from your cell phone to *55.