Driving home on Wednesday afternoon and doing about 75 in the left lane, I started to hear a rumbling noise from the back of my car.

I quickly change lanes and then pulled over to the shoulder. That’s when I noticed the air pressure symbol on my dashboard. It didn’t show up immediately when I noticed a noise, but by the time I pulled over, there it was!

Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
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When I got out, I noticed the rear driver-side tire was completely flat. I got out of the car and moved onto the grass to avoid getting hit by the stream of tractor-trailers and cars whizzing by at 70 to 80 miles an hour.
Then I realized my car wasn’t far enough on the shoulder, so I pulled up a little bit and got up onto the grass with just the tire on the driver's side on the asphalt part of the shoulder. This way the tire could be changed with a jack on the flat level surface.
Dennis Malloy/Townsquare media
Dennis Malloy/Townsquare media
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I got out my spare and realized with a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder I wasn’t gonna be able to fare too well. Luckily, I have AAA and called them immediately. I was told the time would be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

So, then I called 911 and got in touch with the New Jersey roadside assistance folks. They said they would send a truck out as soon as they could. I figured they would get there before AAA but I was wrong.

Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
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Only about five minutes went by, and a wonderful state trooper named Marissa Farias showed up. She was very helpful and reassuring. She asked if I wanted her to stay there till the roadside assistance arrived. I told her she had more important things to do and let her go on her way. About 20 minutes later the AAA truck showed up.

Luckily it was a great guy who also happens to be a listener. It took Jacob about 10 minutes to get the flat tire off and the spare on and I was on my way.

Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media
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All tow truck drivers and people who render roadside assistance are owed a huge debt of gratitude. Being on the side of the road and fixing a tire or checking on a disabled car can be terrifying. Thanks, Jacob!

Once I drove my SUV to my mechanic with the donut spare tire, she informed me the tire was shot and I needed a new one. Yes, HER name is Melissa, her manager is a woman and her new assistant mechanic is a woman, too. Times have changed. Thanks, Melissa!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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