One Texas delivery driver says she is "amazingly blessed" after a couple offered to let her stay in their home during last week's winter storm.
Chelsea Timmons was delivering her last grocery order to Nina Richardson and Doug Condon's home in Austin when her vehicle got stuck after in their yard on Feb. 14.
The 32-year-old had set out on her last delivery that day just as the snow was picking up. When Timmons arrived at the couple's hilly neighborhood, the snow and ice had made it quite difficult to drive through.
"I was going down very slowly, remembering to tap my brake," Timmons said. "I tapped more aggressively and it just still kept sliding. My heart just dropped as I just slid right towards their house and I just closed my eyes and just prayed that I did not hit these people's home, that I did not damage my car. I just knew — definitely knew — if I hit their home, that was my tip."
Ultimately, Timmons lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the homeowners' flower beds then hit a small tree before her car came to rest.
"I'm just extremely fortunate that this is where my car crashed," Timmons told CNN. "It was in their flower bed. It wasn't in a ditch. It wasn't on the side of the road...I was stuck someplace safe and warm."
So she texted the couple to let them know she was outside and they offered to let her wait inside until a tow truck came.
"They invited me inside and of course, at that point, I was just feeling very awkward coming into a stranger's home. But they were super kind," she said. "When they invited me in, I sat with my mask in their kitchen for about two hours."
Surprisingly, several hours of waiting turned into five days. The couple opened up their guest room to Timmons, cooked her dinner every night and the three got to know each other over the next few days.
"She just became kind of part of the family pretty quickly," Richardson said.
Each day they checked on the weather while Timmons and Condon tried to free the car.
"We were using a broom and a spade to be able to clear the driveway as best we could," Condon said. "We thought we had it cleared enough for her to be able to get out. She got up about halfway and got stuck."
The couple hopes that others would do the same for someone needing help.
"We would hope that if our daughters were in a situation similar to Chelsea, that there would be someone that would treat them like we treated Chelsea," he said. "I don't think we ever thought twice about it."
The weather finally let up on Feb. 19 and Timmons was able to drive safely back home to Houston.
"I am so grateful that they were not only able but willing to let a complete stranger into their home in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of a storm...with no hesitation," she said. "They just opened their doors, opened their home and said, 'Come in and relax.'"
"I'm just so grateful for them and so glad that this is where I ended up out of all the driveways in the world," she said.