We love stories…They’re an integral part of who we are. Back when there were country stores, crackers used to be delivered to the stores in barrels and people used to gather ‘round a cracker barrel to tell stories. They were the original water cooler. Our restaurants are meant to help people reconnect with family and friends, feel cared for and share their news of the day.
That’s why people love coming to Cracker Barrel. It’s a time for something simpler. Moments with friends and family, telling incredible stories to create lasting memories.
That’s what “Stories ‘Round the Barrel” is all about. We want to share stories that can inspire you, make you smile, make you laughand give you hope in a time when we really need it most.
Remember the expression, ” in the right place at the right time?”
That’s what this incredible story is all about…
About a year ago, Ashton, a manager in the Belleview, FL Cracker Barrel, was working her shift when she followed a server with a tray to a table that overlooked the interstate.
That’s when she saw Agnes pull off the exit in a panic, screaming for help.
Ashton ran out of the store while asking the team to call 911 and scaled the barbwire fence separating her from Agnes’ car. In the passenger seat was Agnes’ son, Paul, who was unconscious and needed emergency attention.
Agnes had been driving with Paul from Tampa back to her home in Montgomery, AL. Paul hadn’t been feeling well a few days prior, but he seemed fine that day, so they decided to make the trip. After about an hour in the car, Paul suddenly became unconscious, then came to, then became unconscious again.
Agnes then hurriedly moved over four lanes of traffic on I-75 to the nearest exit, which happened to be right by the Cracker Barrel.
Ashton and Agnes pulled Paul out of the car, and Ashton then began compressions on Paul.
“All I could remember thinking was…I hope this works”, said Ashton.
After what felt like an eternity, Paul took a breath. He was taken into the ambulance, which had arrived on the scene.
Ashton then proceeded to help Agnes get her bearings, plugged in the hospital address on her GPS, gave her water, ensured she was OK, scaled the fence again to return to work. She continued to check in with Agnes and Paul for the days and weeks following Paul’s hospital stay.
Looking back on the incident, Agnes is still amazed at the selflessness of Ashton’s actions.
Agnes said, “Who would risk their life in the midst of COVID to come help you with your child that’s dying?”
Paul spent weeks in the hospital fighting for his life and thankfully made a full recovery. The paramedics told Ashton that he wouldn’t have made it had it not been for her jumping the fence and getting to him as fast as she did.
“So many companies talk about how much they care. But Cracker Barrel really does,” said Agnes. “They go beyond the words. The actions of Ashton saved my Paul.”
They enjoyed a tearful reunion when Agnes and Paul stopped by the Cracker Barrel after leaving the hospital to thank Ashton for her life-saving quick thinking and caring.
“Everything happens for a reason, and you don’t meet people by coincidence,” explains Ashton. “I would hope that someone would do that for my child. It’s what we’re supposed to do.”
“Anytime I drive by a Cracker Barrel, all I think about is that angels work there,” says Agnes.
We are so proud and thankful to have Ashton as part of our Cracker Barrel family.
Watch their inspiring story (plus a little surprise we had for Agnes).
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