Good Deeds During Icy Gridlock

After struggling 12 hours to get home Jan. 28 to Sandy Springs and finally making it Wednesday about 1:15 a.m., Kara Gordon (J.D. ’14) woke up to news that drivers remained stranded along Interstate 285 near where she had been stuck.

“I couldn’t believe that people were still trapped,” Gordon says. “So my mom and I went on a little relief mission, stocking up our backpacks with food and water to bring to the drivers who had stayed on the road overnight.”

Her parents’ house is about 1.5 miles from I-285 at Riverside Drive. But because others were serving those at that exit, Gordon and her mom walked two miles east to the next exit at New Northside Drive. They walked in between lanes and holding up water and granola.

“People would just wave me down if they were in need,” Gordon says. “They were beyond grateful to get food and water. I spoke to a trucker who had been on the road since 5 a.m. the day before. Many others had been there since Tuesday afternoon and slept in their cars.

“People were so appreciative and we were thrilled to pay it forward after going through the same the night before,” Gordon says.

She was among a handful of Georgia State Law students stuck on roads as they attempted to get home or to nearby shelter. Adam Rosenberg (J.D. ’14) and Liath Brooks (J.D. ’15) report they abandoned their cars along the way.

Rosenberg spent hours attempting to get to his Acworth home after leaving the college at 11:45 a.m. His journey kept him inching along north on Interstate 75.  Several hours later, he reached Barrett Parkway in Cobb County. But by then Rosenberg was running low on gas so he left the interstate to fill up.

“I spent over an hour at one [traffic] light and moved about 30 feet,” Rosenberg says. “Finally, I realized I was about three miles from home so I parked at a hotel. I walked, knowing there was a Waffle House almost exactly halfway home. Since I hadn’t eaten lunch anyway, I figured some food and coffee would be pretty good after walking for a couple miles in what had turned into sleet.

“My decision to walk turned out to be a great one, as the hilly road I was walking along had cars spun out and was completely blocked,” Rosenberg says.

Brooks also walked, that is, after her flight from arrived Tuesday morning in Atlanta from her Richmond, Va., home. As a part-time student, Brooks commutes to classes each Tuesday. After landing at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, she jumped on MARTA to her car stored at her in-laws. She just made it to campus when the university cancelled classes. So Brooks hopped back in her car only to get stuck for several hours along New Northside Drive near Heard’s Ferry Road.

“I spent three hours … and finally parked safely and decided to walk the 1.5 miles to my in-laws while it was still light,” Brooks says, adding that she later retrieved her car.

She returned to Richmond on Jan. 30.