County Council Good Samaritan Steve Barker stepped in to help where others may have simply driven by after spotting a pedestrian struggling at the roadside in North Yorkshire.
Steve is the council’s highways maintenance manager for Richmondshire and was returning while on duty from a site visit near the authority’s boundary when he noticed two women walkers at the roadside between Carperby and the village of Redmire, with one apparently unwell.
Alarmed by the circumstances, which suggested one of the pair had become ill, he turned his vehicle around and went back to check on their welfare.
His concern proved well founded, with one woman clearly unwell and he was able to provide transport back to her home, a short distance away and to make sure she was safe before returning to ensure her companion did not need further assistance herself.
Such Good Samaritan acts are complicated in the era of coronavirus because of the need for social distancing so Steve kept the number of passengers in the Landrover down to one, with both wearing face coverings.
Steve ensured the woman was able to enter her home safely before returning to check on her companion, who was able to complete the walk home to Redmire on foot.
His actions provoked an email of thanks to North Yorkshire County Council highways from one of the two women, although she did not know who had stopped to help.
She said: “My friend suddenly became unwell and was unable to continue. The driver of a highways department Landrover, who had passed us on his way into Redmire, returned, stopped and offered assistance.
“He very kindly gave my friend a lift back to her home in Redmire, stayed to see her safely inside her house, then drove back to let me know she was safely home.”
Steve said: “I wondered what was happening and wasn’t happy about it so went back.
I have worked for the council for 36 years and it is just the sort of thing I would do, I don’t think anyone would ignore something like that if they saw it. It was ten minutes of my time, but to them it clearly made a big difference,” he said.
NYCC Executive Member for Access, Cllr Don Mackenzie, said: “Praise for the actions of our staff is always much appreciated. This incident highlights the importance which members of our highways team attach to their role in the community. We are very pleased that, on this occasion, Steve’s efforts prevented someone suffering further distress.”