The internet and stars from Sophia Bush to Kate Walsh have rallied around a California couple who refurbished a trailer to drive to their destination wedding only to have their car break down and the trailer nearly fall off the road on the way.
The couple, Jessie Caballero and Gus Renaud, left this week from their home in Los Angeles bound for Seattle, where they planned to marry today in a forest with only their officiant and a photographer and videographer present.
The couple, who met on Tinder in 2015, purchased a vintage trailer, which they nicknamed Pierre, in February, according to their blog. Caballero and Renaud, who could not be reached today by ABC News, spent the past months customizing the trailer to drive to their wedding and on their honeymoon.
Three hours into the couple’s trip, the brakes on their SUV stopped working as they were driving down a mountain and they had to eventually tow their SUV and trailer to Nevada, which they documented on Instagram.
So Monday was pretty terrifying. Our lives were saved by the emergency brake. We left for Lake Tahoe and about 3 hours into the trip our car was over heating in the mountains. We pulled over to let it cool, drove again, and it over-heated again. We repeated this a few more times. Finally the temperature gauge seemed to be stable, and we had just got to the part of the trip that would be downhill. I heard Gus say, "Uh oh.." And I said "What?" And I looked down at his foot pressing the brake over and over, and nothing happened. Everything in the car had shut off, including the engine. I looked forward and a few hundred feet in front of us was a sharp left turn over a cliff. I immediately reached for the emergency brake and gradually pulled on it while Gus steered the car around the turn as gently as he could with how fast we were going. Fortunately there was a turn out just around the corner and we were able to come to safe stop. I don't know what it was, instinct or something, but we were both in survival mode in that moment and were able to remain calm. As soon as the car stopped though, I just started bawling. We had no cell phone service and the nearest city was 14 miles away. Then Gus realized he lost his wallet. We tore the entire car apart trying to find it, and nothing. He walked to a lodge we'd passed just before this happened but the office was closed, so he used a pay phone outside and called the insurance company who told us they would call us when a tow truck was on their way, and seemed to ignore Gus telling them over and over that we don't have cell service. Gus came back and we waited for the tow truck to come for hours. Nothing showed up. No one pulled over to ask if we needed help. No cops or sheriffs drove by. After a few hours we put a sign up saying "HELP! NEED CELL SERVICE!" Someone finally pulled over, a volunteer for the fire department, and walkie-talkied with the closest towing company who came to save us. They let us camp in the parking lot of the mechanic who will be looking at the jeep today to see what's wrong. We're safe now. I'm a little shaken up but, we'll be okay.
Caballero posted on Facebook about the couple’s near-disaster and lamented that the only rental cars available in the area could not tow the trailer. That is when an acquaintance of Caballero’s on Facebook stepped in and created a GoFundMe page to help get the couple, and their trailer, to their wedding.
“On Tuesday night I was about to get in bed and I see this Facebook post from Jessie, that they didn’t know what to do and were beyond themselves,” Nicola Behrman told ABC News. “I just got this sense of, there are people in the world that can help them with this, that there’s no reason they need to be stuck.”
Behrman, a spiritual officiant from Ojai, California, created the GoFundMe page that night and then emailed it to 50 friends asking them to share it on social media. The post traveled from Facebook to Instagram and soon drew the attention of Hollywood stars.
“I woke up and Sophia Bush had shared it,” Behrman said of the actress known for her roles on “One Tree Hill” and “Chicago PD.”
According to an update from Caballero shared on the GoFundMe page Thursday, Bush reached out to “several car rental and auto companies” and Audi gave the couple a loaner SUV for the remainder of their trip so they could continue to Seattle for their wedding.
40 miles away from Mt Shasta city! Just under 10 hours left to go. We are loving this car @Audi!! Gus is so excited to drive this thing and all of the high tech safety features are easing my mind about being on the road again after our scary incident. Thank you every one for the congrats and well wishes. ?? we are so happy and relieved. Also can we talk about how hilarious it looks for this brand new 2017 car to be hauling our crummy little 1977 trailer? 40 years apart! #ragmopandgoosegethitched #audi #quattro #q7 #audiq7
The attention also led to donations of more than $3,500 and counting through GoFundMe.
All the $ we raise in their go fund me can be used to either fix their Jeep, or go towards a new one after the wedding if it's fully gonzo— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) August 10, 2016
“Not only will this get us to our wedding, but it will get us back home and give us the opportunity to have the honeymoon we originally dreamed of,” Caballero wrote.
The couple plans to be married today in Seattle as planned, according to Behrman.
Behrman is traveling overseas today but plans to meet with Caballero and Renaud, her newfound friends, in Los Angeles when they all return.
“We’re definitely connected,” she said. “Here they wanted to have a private experience and now people from around the world have blessed this marriage and are participating in it.”
She added: “The universe has a real sense of humor.”