North Thompson residents renew traveller’s faith in humanity

I want to openly thank the community of Clearwater for having such wonderful people

Editor, The Times:

It is not every day that someone shows their true colours, assists someone and receive the help that I got with no other ulterior motive than to be helpful.

Two weeks ago I received some very bad news from my family. One of my brothers had committed suicide.

He left behind a 13-year-old daughter and since he lived in Vancouver and I live in Edmonton I had a long drive ahead of me.

I felt it was my duty/obligation to help the family during this tragedy.

On Tuesday, May 10, I started off to my destination of Kamloops where my other brother lives.

All was fine until about 20 minutes south of Blue River. I drive a 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse and even though I had gas and power the car ended up dying on the side of the road on me.

I had no cell service and I waited with the hood up and my flashers going but no one stopped for about a half hour until Mike Lahaie of Kinder Morgan stopped.

Mr. Lahaie pulled over to make sure I was okay. He looked under the hood and tried to see if he could help me. We went over the car and tried to start it to no avail.

Since he had a booster on his work truck he was able to call Lane’s Towing on his cellphone for me.

He could have left but he waited on the side of the road to make sure I was safe and to make sure the tow truck showed up.

In the meantime, I told him why I was going to Vancouver. We had a good talk and he was very understanding.

Since I didn’t have a whole lot of money and I found that my CAA had lapsed by six days I was worried about the tow bill, let alone the repairs.

I didn’t think about that though at the time; all I wanted to do is get to my family.

The tow truck arrived after about 25 minutes. Mike Lahaie spoke to the tow truck driver and helped him get my car in place to tow.

I felt grateful and gave him a hug before he left. At this point I felt I had made a new friend as he was a very kind man.

The tow truck drove me and my car over 65 kilometers to Clearwater.

Mike had told him to take it to Aspen Service Center for the repairs.

Once we arrived the car was unhooked and I asked the tow driver, Lane Tobin, what the damage was.

Too my astonishment he said, “Nothing.” I asked him what he was talking about as the car was towed a long way.

He said, Mike Lahaie had already taken care of it – that he had paid for it for me. He said that Mike felt that since I was trying to help someone out during a tragedy that he felt he should pay it forward.

The tow truck driver said that he wanted to split the tow with him but he declined.

I can’t tell you how I felt at that moment, as I was quite emotional. I have never had someone been so kind with that type of unexpected help before.

Please know that this man went above and beyond to help someone out. Even the repair bill was less than $130 so even though I was delayed I was able to walk away with my head up.

I work in the oil and gas industry. Our industry is under constant scrutiny these days. Our operations are challenged to protect the environment and the communities we affect, and our people are constantly approached to defend their work and the industry they represent. In the end we are all just hard working Canadians trying to care for our families and make our country and communities better.

I want to openly thank the community of Clearwater for having such wonderful people that are willing to lend a hand when needed.

Thank you to Mike Lahaie, Lane Tobin of Lane’s Towing and Sean Dawson of Aspen Service Centre.

Thank you for “paying it forward.”

Sandra Oakley

Edmonton, AB


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