Driver in stalled car waits nearly 45 mins after calling 911

11Alive asked GDOT and DeKalb 911 why a driver waited nearly 45 minutes for help to arrive.

Imagine driving on the interstate, just ahead of rush hour and your car suddenly stops.
          
That is what happened to Jackie Nabb when her car stalled in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85.

"Before we left, we prayed and asked The Lord to give us a safe trip there and back, and so far so good until 3:30 in the afternoon," she said.

It happened on a recent afternoon trip from Gainesville to Atlanta, just past spaghetti junction, right next to the express lane.

"My car just stopped," said Nabb. "And it wouldn't restart and I couldn't roll to the side or anything! It just stopped."

With cars speeding by and darting out of the way to avoid her, she pulled out her phone and called 911, expecting help to arrive soon.

"I was visualizing the possibilities," she recalled. "And it was terrifying."

3:33, 3:55 and again at 4:09, Nabb called 911 three times, repeating her location and conveying her frustration and fear.

DeKalb County says the call was sent to the Department of Transportation for a HERO unit at 3:44 more than 10 minutes after Nabb first called 911.

We contacted GDOT to find out the delay. Spokeswoman Natalie Dale there was a wait since they had to clear incidents already in progress before heading over to Nabb.

"It had a low priority, simply because of the lane that it was in," said Dale. "It was non-peak direction, it wasn't peak time yet."

Dale says Nabb's call was officially cleared by a HERO unit at 4:16 with her car moved out of traffic lanes almost 45 minutes after her first call to DeKalb 911.

"It just took us a little longer to get the call, because of where the call went first," she said.

GDOT should call 511 first. HERO units can assist drivers with issues like stalled cars, running out of gas, flat ties and debris in the road. The agency say calling them directly will get you the quickest response.

Looking back, Nabb said she had heard of 511, but her first instinct was to call 911 since she was stopped inside a car with traffic speeding past her.

"At the time, I did what I knew to do," said Nabb.


 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories