It had been almost 21 hours. A Maryland couple was among the many people stranded overnight on Interstate 95 in Virginia, tired, cold and hungry.
When 23-year-old Casey Noe noticed a bread truck among the stopped vehicles, she decided to reach out to the company, Schmidt Baking Company, to see if the food inside could be shared. Within 20 minutes, she said, the CEO himself called her, told her to hand her phone to the truck driver, and told the driver to release the bread to anyone who needed it.
"This was one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed," Noe wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
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In an interview with NBC News, Noe said she and her husband John Noe, 24, had been traveling from Ellicott City, Maryland, to North Carolina to visit family. Her husband is a senior airman in the Air Force, and the couple wanted to see their family before moving to Germany next week.
The Noes ended up stuck at mile marker 148, which was 10 to 15 miles from the crash that involved six tractor-trailers.
"After almost 21 hours of being stuck on 95, sleeping here over night, not having access to food or water, and all of the nearest towns being out of power we were tired, frustrated, and hungry," Casey Noe recounted on Facebook. "Many of the people stuck out here had small children, were elderly, had pets in the car, and hadn’t eaten in almost a whole day."
Casey and John Noe flagged down a bread truck driver, Ron Hill. His truck was stranded with them, but it was stocked with loaves of bread. Hill works for Schmidt Baking Company, and Casey reached out to the CEO. She says the CEO then called her directly and told her to hand the phone to Hill and release the bread.
They passed it out to people in about 50 cars.
Casey recounted on Facebook, "We reached out to Schmidt Baking Company and begged them to open their truck that was stuck out here with us. We didn’t think it would actually work, but less then 20 minutes later we got an incredible suprise [sic]. We received a personal call from the owner of the company Chuck who contacted the driver. This driver Ron Hill opened the back of the truck and with the help of some people close by passed out bread to more than 50 cars who were all incredibly thankful."
The couple finally were able to resume their drive at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
NBC Washington has reached out to Schmidt Baking Company for more information.
Mohammed Syed contributed to this report.