AMHERST – It started out like any other truck run for 32-year Midland truck driver veteran Richard Patriquin. The driver was coming up on Cobiquid Pass back in September when he spotted a deer lingering near the median. Patriquin said he noticed the car behind him getting ready to pass and knew what was going to happen.
“It was a family from Ottawa,” he said reflecting on the incident. “The girl got up by my front tire and the deer came out and hit the car.”
Patriquin said the family, a husband, wife and their two children, had been on their way to Truro to drop their daughter off at college.
The occupants of the car didn’t suffer any serious injuries. Never the less, Patriquin said he pulled over and offered them his help.
“I think they were going to attempt to drive the car but I told them I didn’t think they could, because antifreeze was coming out of the car,” he said. “I told them I could take them down to the Double C (a local restaurant in Glenholme).”
The husband stayed with the vehicle while Patriquin took the wife and her children down to the restaurant to call a tow truck.
“Before he even let them in the truck, he gave it a look over,” said Patriquin with a laugh. “But I took them down and got them situated.”
But this incident wasn’t the first time Patriquin put his route on hold to help someone in need. Back in 1979, Patriquin helped pull a driver from their burning vehicle, for which he was recognized by the Royal Canadian Humane Association.
For his efforts back in September, Patriquin was honoured at a banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Moncton N.B. where he received the Good Samaritan award.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “I just thought I might get a cheque for a few dollars. But I did get a cheque too for $300. It was a nice evening. My wife got flowers.”
The award was kept a secret until they announced the winner. Patriquin said once the speaker started talking about the incident near Cobiquid, he knew he was going to receive it.
“My son said there was something coming up and he didn’t want to tell me anything because he said I’d go and tell his father when it was supposed to be a surprise,” said wife Joyce. “When they got up to give out the award, as soon as they said (the pass), I turned to him and said, ‘Oh my God, it’s you!’ I was ecstatic. I was so excited.”
The award was presented during the Atlantic Provinces Association’s annual Appreciation Awards dinner in December.