By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Beverly Elders Cross has had a Chevrolet Suburban for just more than a year.
Cross had never used the four-wheel drive feature, a tool she wanted to have because in years past her family has driven in the snow in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“I thought there would be that one time I may need it and I’d be glad I had it,” Cross said.
That day was Tuesday.
She had picked up her daughters along Happy Hollow Road earlier in the day after giving a man a ride from the Trussville Sports Complex. She then took two people home in the Cahaba Project area of Trussville.
At about 4 p.m., after her daughters were safely home from Hewitt-Trussville High School, Cross went back out.
“I just wanted to do all I could to help anybody else get home,” Cross said.
She drove her eight-seat Suburban to the intersection of Annette Street and Dawns Way in the Hidden Trace subdivision, and she picked people up who needed rides. She took them to homes in Hidden Trace, Magnolia Place and Glen Cross.
By 10 p.m., Cross had taken 104 people from the roadside and their abandoned cars to their homes. She only stopped at 10 p.m. because her gas light had been on, alerting her that she had just one mile of driving time left. She was quick to point out that people rode four-wheelers through that area of Trussville past 10 p.m., helping people home.
“I was just a small part,” she said.
Cross said it “broke my heart” watching people walk home through a window in her home.
“All night, I kept watching and watching,” said Cross, who finally went to bed at 1:30 a.m.
At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Cross’ phone rang. It was a call from a friend who lives in Magnolia Place but works at the Honda plant in Lincoln. He had gotten back to town somehow and had reached Cross’ Hidden Trace home by foot. He asked if he could come in, just to warm up. She allowed him to take her Suburban home, as long as he didn’t drive more than the one mile of gas left in the tank.
Cross will likely walk to his house today or this week, to pick up her Suburban and re-fill the tank.
“I’ll be coasting down Mary Taylor Road, whenever I can get down it,” she said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.