Edmond Woman Stranded on I-40 Waits 7 Hours for Roadside Assistance

An Edmond woman was stranded along I-40 with a flat tire and even though she has a membership with AAA to help her in times like these, she said that help didn’t come for seven hours.

Suzanne Rhodes pulled over at the Flying J truck stop off I-40 and Morgan Road on Thursday when she noticed she was losing air pressure in one of her tires.

“It wasn't like it was a slow leak,” she said.

Turns out she had a nail in one of her tires.

“I was really calm about it, I was like ‘okay I’m going to pull over at the gas station,’” she said.

Rhodes said she was calm because she knew she had the basic roadside assistance membership through AAA.

“I feel like this service is something that seniors like me really look to, to help them and protect them,” she said.

A safety net she called it. When she called for help, she said she was told it would be two and a half hours.

“I was okay with two-and-a-half hours, ‘ok, I'll settle back, it will be fine,’” she said.

It wasn’t.

“At the sixth hour mark, I was beginning to get definitely frustrated with them,” Rhodes said.

She called up to 10 times to find out when help was coming.

“It got later and later,” Rhodes said. “This is not a part of town you want to be in after dark really on your own.”

Finally, she said the call center told her she was “red flagged” meaning they moved her up in the queue.

She said she does not believe there was queue.

“It's not that I feel like I’m privileged, or I have priority over anyone else, I don't but I feel like seven hours is excessive, that's an excessive wait,” she said.

Rhodes said it was close to midnight before someone showed up to change her tire.

“They were just lucky I was in a parking lot, but it wasn't a parking lot that was secure there were truckers and people coming and going and you don't know who's there,” Rhodes said. “That’s a little scary.”

Rhodes also said she was lucky because she had food and a bathroom nearby but worries about other senior citizens who may be stranded without food, water, and their medications. 

“I think that as community we really need to be asking AAA in Oklahoma ‘What are you doing for us that's right?’ and ‘What are you doing for us that's wrong?’ Because I think there's a lot wrong here,” she said.

News 9 contacted AAA about the excessive wait times. The company released this statement in response to our query.

"At AAA, providing our Members with quality service in a timely manner is always a top priority. While privacy concerns limit our ability to comment on a specific incident, our Customer Care team is dedicated to addressing issues as they are raised and working toward a satisfactory resolution."


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