Pregnant NC woman walks home to avoid traffic woes
by Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Sarah Cengel's ordeal began about 12:30 p.m. when she left her job as a mental health therapist. It ended three hours, when she finally walked through the doors of her home, courtesy of one stranger who walked part of the way with her and another who gave her a ride to a spot near her home.
Cengel, who is more than six months' pregnant, left work and stopped at a grocery store. The snow was light, so she didn't expect problems; even the Raleigh Beltline was passable. Slick, but passable.
She took a different exit than her usual one in west Raleigh, thinking it would be in bad shape. That was a mistake.
"It was a sheet of ice," she said. "I saw people fishtailing, swerving all over the road. Nobody was going very fast, and they weren't able to get any traction."
She parked at a Kmart and warmed up there as it was closing. She called her husband to see if he could help. Then she started walking, wearing a coat that doesn't zip because she's pregnant and dress shoes. A man walked part of the way with her, giving her a hat.
Her husband, who had hitched a ride with a stranger, caught up with her in a grocery store parking lot. The stranger got them to within a half-mile of their home. By then, she had changed into the boots that her husband, John, brought with him.
"I didn't expect it to happen so fast," she said, echoing what other people said about the storm that caught them off guard.
"While I was on the beltline, it just didn't seem that bad. It wasn't until I got off that exit that I realized I wasn't going to be able to drive. ... I usually err on the side of caution. This is the exception to how I usually do stuff. I'm not going to try to get around in this again."