Dalia Bazanko anticipation her night was activity to end with a collapsed tire. Thanks in allotment to a Minuteman, it concluded in an engagement.
On Oct. 21, Bazanko headed into Chicago with her boyfriend, Josh Lundgren, who said he had planned a few surprises. The couple, from the northwest suburbs, were in Wester on the Eisenhower Expressway back they accomplished they had a collapsed tire.
They alleged AAA and were told that it could booty an hour afore a artisan would be able to ability them.
Lundgren told Bazanko he would accept to aish their plans.
“I was devastated,” Bazanko said in a blast interview. “I was aggravating to accumulate it calm so hard.”
But at that moment, they saw a tow barter affairs up abaft them.
“We didn’t apperceive if we were accepting towed,” Bazanko said.
The brace yelled out to the driver: “Are you AAA?”
Mauricio Garcia, an Illinois Department of Transportation Emergency Cartage Convoying worker, or Minuteman, yelled back: “No, we’re bigger than AAA!”
“We were like, ‘Who is this guy?’” Bazanko said. “He alone from heaven.”
The Minutemen convoying added than 1,000 lane afar on seven above expressways in the Chicago area. The service, angry into a abiding affairs in 1961 afterwards aboriginal cartage assurance patrols began operating on the Congress Expressway — now the Eisenhower — is now accessible 24 hours a day, seven canicule a week. Since the patrol’s formation, Minutemen both in Chicago and downstate accept helped about 500,000 motorists, according to IDOT.
The convoying currently has 65 drivers who log up to 80,000 anniversary assists, analytic for and responding to confusing cartage incidents — like collapsed tires — to accumulate cartage abounding and anticipate added accidents.
As Garcia anchored the tire, Lundgren pulled him aside.
“He said, ‘You aloof adored my activity because I accept anxiety for banquet and I’m activity to adduce to my girlfriend,’” said Garcia. “And I said, ‘Ok, able-bodied let’s bustle up and get you on your way.’”
Garcia, who has been affiliated for 23 years and has two boyish daughters, additionally offered some advice.
“I told him to be nice to her,” he said. “You’re consistently attractive out for the girls.”
After 10 minutes, the annoy was fixed, and Bazanko and Lundgren were off. They had burgers at the Park Tavern in the West Loop and again headed to a clandestine helicopter ride over Chicago.
“The burghal lights were animated bright,” Bazanko said. “I had no abstraction what was advancing next.”
Lundgren collection Bazanko to a asleep bend of Grant Park. The brace absolved against Buckingham Fountain, which was shut off for the season. No one seemed to be around.
But there was a boutonniere of roses, tucked into the fence about the fountain, cat-and-mouse for Bazanko.
Lundgren launched into a accent about why he capital Bazanko to be his wife. Bazanko, who sells conjugal gowns for a living, promptly blacked out.
“I didn’t alike see the ring,” she said. “It was like blurred vision.”
“And he said, ‘Please,’ and that’s back I woke up and I was like ‘Yes, yes!’” Bazanko said. “We were adhering and we were kissing and I assuredly saw the arena and I cool out because it was so gorgeous.”
Bazanko said she’s blessed to apperceive her tax dollars are activity to a account she absolutely supports.
“I don’t anticipate that the day or night would accept been what it was if we didnt get a collapsed tire, to be honest with you,” she said. And “I don’t anticipate they’ve anytime helped a alliance proposal.”
Garcia, who said this was his aboriginal on-the-clock angle assist, said he’s blessed he helped the couple.
“And that she said yes,” he added.
Bazanko and Lundgren are planning for a July wedding. They’re not set on a venue.
But, Bazanko said, “We are activity to abstain every distinct highway.”
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