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Call Kurtis: AAA Leaves Woman Stranded Overnight In Sierra

PIONEER (CBS13) - An Arnold woman who relies on AAA for roadside assistance, says they left her stranded in the sierra overnight. She called Kurtis to investigate.

Carrie Stroble has AAA for peace of mind. But she says the roadside assistance company left her stranded overnight.

"I had confidence that AAA would come and they didn't," Stroble said.

Stranded with a blown transmission on highway 88 near Bear River Reservoir in Amador county, she was alone with her dog Rain and no cell service

She flagged down a trucker who drove into town and called AAA.

But night fell and hours passed and no tow truck arrived.

"I started having panic attacks," Stroble said.

Afraid to flag down anyone else in the dark, Carrie stayed inside the car overnight with Rain.

"I'm a woman alone on the side of the road," said Stroble. "Anybody could come up and try to rob you, or worse."

The CHP found her in the morning and called AAA yet again. Hours later, and more than 12 hours after the initial call, the tow truck finally arrived.

AAA ads say the service is available "wherever you go...any time of the day or night" and "even when you're hundreds of miles away from home."

But in this case, AAA tells us sometimes "contracted tow operators may be unable or unavailable to assist."

"If I'm paying for a service that doesn't work, why am I saying?" said Stroble.

We asked AAA that same question. They said, "the remote nature of the call and limited cell phone service was a complicating factor."

They then gave Carrie free membership for a year.

"Gee, thanks?" Stroble said. "But I'm not sure you're going to be there when I need you."

AAA said they are looking into ways to respond better to calls from remote locations.


"We are investigating this incident and will take appropriate action. Member satisfaction is our priority. We have contacted the Member to apologize. We are committed to retaining this Member's trust with our service moving forward.

"Contracted tow operators may be unable or unavailable to assist due to very specific circumstances but in this case, the remote nature of the call and limited cell phone service was a complicating factor. We are reviewing our escalation process to better address these complex scenarios in the future."

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