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How 2 Ontario Purolator drivers helped rescue a man walking into oncoming highway traffic

A pair of Purolator drivers in Guelph, Ont., are being labelled as heroes by provincial police after saving a man walking into oncoming traffic on a highway.

Line-haul driver Melinda Olah says she saw a pedestrian in distress as she was approaching Highway 410 on April 29.

“The visibility of him was so last minute, it was near hitting him,” Olah said. “And that was the same thing for any of the other vehicles that were travelling the same way.”

The man was walking into the oncoming traffic lanes and Olah said drivers would have had next to no time to react.

She contacted OPP and slowly travelled behind the man, going five kilometres an hour, for about 20 minutes until another one of her colleagues arrived to help.

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Olah said she was nervous and “on the edge of her seat” before Manohar Rehal arrived.

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“All of sudden the truck pulls over and I realize it’s another Purolator truck,” she said. “He rolls down the window and (was) like, ‘Hey, are you OK?’ I’m like, ‘Oh man, I can’t even tell you the sense of relief I had.’”

Rehal and Olah used their two transport trucks to block the lanes and follow the man to ensure he was safe before police arrived.

Olah (left) and Rehal (right) received letters of appreciation from OPP after helping save a man’s life in April. Guelph Purolator

She said OPP awarded her and Rehal with letters of appreciation a few days after the incident and that the positive reaction from colleagues and the wider community has been overwhelming.

Olah added she was very glad that she and her co-worker were there to help the pedestrian and that she’d “do it again, 100 per cent.”

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The man was safely taken to hospital.

She said hopefully this gave him an opportunity to re-evaluate what he was doing and seek help to deal with some things going on in his life.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

Crisis Services Canada’s toll-free helpline provides 24-7 support at 1-833-456-4566.

Kids Help Phone operates a toll-free helpline at 1-800-668-6868 with 24-7 support for young people as well as the Crisis Text Line, which can be reached by texting HOME to 686868.

The toll-free Hope for Wellness helpline provides 24-7 support for Indigenous Peoples at 1-855-242-3310. Online chat services are also available.

Trans Lifeline operates a toll-free peer support hotline for trans and questioning people at 1-877-330-6366.

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention at suicideprevention.ca.

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