A North Carolina business owner is receiving praise after sheltering two stranded women and four children in his gas station during a cold night.
LaShea Colson and Sarah Kelleher found themselves in quite a predicament on Feb. 15. Their cars had slid off a slick road and they found themselves stranded in the freezing cold, Fox 46 reported.
Colson was with her four children at the time. Kelleher was traveling alone.
“I was just sitting there crying, because I was just really scared and panicky at the moment,” Kelleher told Fox 46.
But Colson and Kelleher’s luck was about to change. They met Saluda Truck Plaza owner Hitesh Patel, who invited them to stay the night in his gas station lounge.
“I saw one of the girls. She looked like my niece,” Patel explained. “She lives in Lincolnton, North Carolina, so I said if that would be my sister or niece, then anybody can do it, so I said just leave it open.”
The gas station was supposed to close at 10 p.m. that night. Instead, Patel brought in cots for his guests to sleep in, a space heater to keep them warm, and a television for entertainment.
Colson called Patel “an angel.” Her children decorated Post-it notes to thank him for his kindness.
Kelleher took to Reddit to praise Patel for his actions.
“Roads are super icy in NC tonight,” Colson wrote. “Hitesh's gas station closes at 10, but he's keeping it open all night so that I and a young mom traveling with 4 kids have a safe place to stay during the storm. I'd be freezing in my car right now if it weren't for Hitesh.”