At about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, the Jacksonville Auto Sales owner selected a red pickup truck from his lot and headed to Anniston to collect his stranded adult daughter, Hali Boyles. She waited inside Taco Bell on Quintard Avenue for four hours while her father drove south, passing abandoned vehicles and helping stranded motorists pull their vehicles from ditches along the way. That was just the beginning.
“I have no professional training in any of that, but I can drive in the snow in a four-wheel vehicle,” Boyles said. “You can’t stop on ice in a four-wheel vehicle, but you can move and that’s what I kept doing.”
When he arrived at Taco Bell, Hali and two family friends in want of rides home to Jacksonville were waiting on him. All four — Boyles, Hali, Lynn Kingston and Stephanie Gossett — climbed into the extended cab Ford Ranger and made their way back to Jacksonville. It took more than an hour.
“I have never been so happy to see a Cleburne County redneck in my life,” Gossett said, teasing Boyles for his Heflin roots. “I was very, very appreciative.”
After dropping all three of the women off, Boyles headed back to Anniston to help another family friend get home to Jacksonville.
Merry Neisler was trying to drive north from Oxford in a two-wheel-drive Cadillac Escalade when she became stranded at the bottom of a hill. Meanwhile, her husband, David Neisler, was snowed in at home in Pleasant Valley with no way to leave. He knew just who to call.
“He just came right over that hill and picked me up like it was no problem,” Neisler said. “I knew he would get me where I needed to go.”
Before the snow event was over, Boyles helped many more. Several people in the community said he pulled cars out of ditches and picked up medication for stranded people during the emergency.