Saturday, April 13th was the Cypress Creek High School Prom at the Berry Center. The itinerary read as follows:
7:00 PM – Pick up group from Campioni Restaurant and drop off at Berry Center for Prom
10:00 PM – Pick up from Berry Center and drop off at Sugarloaf Ranch in Hearne, TX
12:15 PM – Drop off at ranch in Hearne, TX
Needless to say, the itinerary had a few last minute changes.
As we were driving through Bryan, TX at approximately 11:45 PM at the Boonville Rd exit, my rear passenger side inside tire blew out. Luckily the exit from Highway 6 to Boonville Rd was a few hundred meters ahead so we quickly slowed down and exited to a safe location.
The safe location was the Kroger parking lot that was well lit and out of harms way. Once we were safely parked, I called the parents of one of the passengers to alert them of our situation. They said that they were on their way to come pick the group up in 2 of their vehicles and it would be about 20-30 minutes before they arrived.
While we waited, I allowed the kids to get some snacks and sodas from Kroger as my treat for the inconvenience. Once I had a plan for the kids and their transportation for the remainder of the trip (aka their parents picking them up), I was able to concentrate on getting the actual tire fixed and get the Cool Bus back on the road.
After about an hour of phone calls and going back and forth with various service companies, I was finally able to get a hold of Martinez Heavy Truck and Tire out of Huntsville, TX. They were able to dispatch a service truck to my location with a new tire.
After the phone calls and finally confirming with the service company it was about 1:15 AM. They didn’t show up till almost 3:15 AM. The service tech on site was Billie. I don’t think I could’ve asked for anyone better to help me in my situation. Billie was great and he was very knowledgeable. He was very patient with me as I am sure I annoyed him with all my questions.
He finally finished around 5:00 AM and, after a quick stop to get some coffee and snacks, I was back on the road to Houston. I finally got home at 7:15 AM Sunday morning.
It was a very long and arduous process, but in the end, everyone was safe as it could’ve been a much worse situation. The flat tire happened at the perfect spot on the highway and it happened to the tire that allowed us to still drive to a safe location.
I never really knew how I would react to an emergency situation like this, but now after going through this experience myself, I feel comfortable that I can put together a strong plan of action and emergency protocol for my future drivers.