Help Along I-70 on Hot Day Appreciated

Colorado citizen Joe Gallelli was traveling in western Colorado on Monday, June 22.  He had pulled off I-70 west of Gypsum to scope out a good place to go fishing.  When he got back to his truck, he discovered he had locked his cell phone and keys inside. To make matters worse, it was about 3 p.m. on a 96-degree western Colorado day.

CDOT maintenance crews were working on a culvert project nearby; they let Gallelli use a cell phone to call for help, but he said the cell coverage was spotty and he wasn't sure his call went through.

CDOT Gypsum-area TM-III Cary Griffin came by to check on the culvert project.  "Joe approached me, told me what happened, and asked if he could use my cell phone," Griffin reported.  "He was clearly dehydrated, so I got him into my truck into the air conditioning and got him water."

Gallelli called a roadside assistance service, but he was told it would be two hours or more until help would arrive.

"Then I saw his truck, that it was a new Chevy with temporary tags, and I said to him, 'Joe, you've got OnStar on that truck.'  He said, 'I do?  I don't have their number.'"

Griffin, who himself owns a Chevy vehicle and has OnStar, had the number and had Joe call.  Within minutes, the truck was unlocked.

Gallelli later called the Grand Junction Maintenance Section 2 Office.  "Cary did me a good turn, and I want it pay it forward," he reported.  "I'd been out in the hot sun a couple of hours.  It was the best of public service.  It was a phenomenal experience."

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