PLAINFIELD — Diana Benefiel has been down on her luck but says things are looking brighter now that she’s gotten a little help from a stranger.
Benefiel, a Plainfield resident, couldn’t get her vehicle started on Dec. 8 and thought it was a problem with her key.
“I asked my nephew if he could run me to Walmart to get a new key,” she said. “But he couldn’t because he had a lot of things to do with his family. He said maybe later in the day.”
Benefiel said she was worried that the automotive center could close early since it was Sunday so she walked from her home near Carr Road in the Town Center to Walmart at 2373 E. Main St.
When she arrived at the automotive center she met Walmart automotive technician Eric Pranger.
“She walked in and we found out her key has a chip in it and that she would have to go to a dealership to have it made,” he said. “I asked her if I could look at her car to make sure she needed a new one and that’s when I found out it wasn’t in the parking lot. She had walked in.”
He said he knew it would cost about $65 to get a new key.
“I was getting off work in 10 minutes so I told her I could give her a ride home,” Pranger said.
Benefiel said something about Pranger put her at ease and she felt it would be safe to trust him.
“He said he didn’t want me to walk home because it was so cold,” she said.
When they arrived at her home, he offered to take a look at the vehicle.
“I asked her for the key and checked it out,” Pranger said. “Turns out the steering wheel was just in a bind, so I fixed it. It saved her some money. She would have had it towed for no reason.”