Becky Schultz was on her way home to McHenry about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when she got stuck in a long line of stranded cars on Route 60 near Mundelein.
A physical therapist at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Schultz spent the next seven hours in her Jeep, trapped with countless other motorists as snow piled high around them.
"I'm a woman of faith, so I spent the most time praying I've ever prayed in my life," Schultz said. "I figured someone would come and rescue us."
She was right. About 11:30 p.m., two Round Lake Area firefighters appeared on a snowmobile and started shuttling people to safety.
"They single-handedly saved over 50 people," Schultz said.
One of the firefighters used Schultz's Jeep to take the woman and a few other motorists to the nearby Fremont Township headquarters. Schultz admitted she wasn't a great driver and let one of the firefighters drive, once the Jeep was filled with people.
"I'm very messy, so we had to throw all this (stuff) in the back," she said.
Schultz didn't get either firefighter's name but hopes to thank them for their effort.
She spent the night and much of Wednesday at the township offices. She volunteered to answer the phone and helped hand out food to other people stranded by the storm.