Oneida truck driver helps stranded motorists in Atlanta

Oneida truck driver helps stranded motorists in Atlanta

Posted:
Kevin McGee (source: Facebook) Kevin McGee (source: Facebook)
Oneida resident Kevin McGee says his first instinct was to help stranded motorists, as he was also stranded on Interstate 285 South for 21 straight hours. (source: Facebook) Oneida resident Kevin McGee says his first instinct was to help stranded motorists, as he was also stranded on Interstate 285 South for 21 straight hours. (source: Facebook)

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - An East Tennessee truck driver found himself right in the middle of the standstill that brought the Atlanta area to a halt on Tuesday.  

Atlanta was hit with a record snowstorm, stranding dozens of drivers. The National Guard was still working Thursday to rescue them.  

There have been other stories of people rushing to help as well. One of those good Samaritans is from right here in East Tennessee.  

Oneida resident Kevin McGee says his first instinct was to help stranded motorists, as he was also stranded on Interstate 285 South for 21 straight hours.  

McGee is a truck driver for Landair Transportation and was on his way from Washington, D.C. to pick up a truckload from a FedEx terminal just south of Downtown Atlanta.  

He said he was only one mile away from his destination before traffic on I-285 came to a standstill.  

"Vehicles and trucks both couldn't make it up the hills, and were on the bottom side. When we finally did set the brakes, we were there for 21 hours," said McGee.  

McGee was one of the thousands of motorists stuck all over interstates and roads in the Atlanta area.

He says not long after he was stranded, he started handing out extra water and food he had in his cabin.

Area churches, groceries and hardware superstores opened their doors to the stranded. McGee says he helped get supplies for those who need them.

"I walked to the store, bought gas for people that were low or running out of gas. I even had a young lady that sat in my truck to stay warm when while I got her gas because she completely ran out," said McGee.  

McGee says he assisted as the National Guard began to help. He says he helped them clear the roads by helping to move cars that had in ditches and over turned.  

As many school children remained stranded into the night, McGee said he was impressed by how the Guard cared for them.  

"That was the National Guard's first priority, was to get the kids of the school buses and get them to safety," said McGee.  

McGee said there were others like him, helping stranded motorists on the interstates.

Atlanta-area officials came under heavy scrutiny for how they planned for the weather. McGee also believes much of the mess could have been avoided.  

"They could have prepared better for it, but they're learning," said McGee.

McGee says this isn't the longest time he's been stranded on the road; he says he was once stranded for 48 hours due to a backup from a snowstorm in Pennsylvania.

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