Richie Stanley saved a life last November. THE NEWS/files

TransLink driver rewarded for saving a life

Maple Ridge resident waded into deep ditch

Richie Stanley has always wondered what happened to the stranger he saved a year ago, on that dark, rainy night on Lougheed Highway.

Stanley, a TransLink bus driver on the 701 route last October, rescued a man in his 20s who had plunged into a ditch and was struggling to get out of the water in freezing weather.

Stanley admits, he was a little scared wading into the ditch because he didn’t know if he’d get out again. “There was a lot of mud and nothing really to hold on to except a few brambles. I thought about it and realized, I had to do something.”

For his efforts, the Maple Ridge man, now retired, is being awarded the bronze medal from the Royal Canadian Humane Association – Canada Bravery Awards. He’ll be presented the medal in Kelowna, this Friday, by Lieut.-Gen. Janet Austin.

“It was a bit of a surprise for me,” Stanley said Monday.

The man had boarded his bus at about 10 p.m. in Pitt Meadows, at Harris and Ford roads, and started acting erractically. He appeared to have a seizure on the bus and recovered, But by the time the bus had crossed the Pitt River on Lougheed Highway and was in Coquitlam, the man ran off the bus and on to the road.

Stanley stopped his bus and on a hunch and, on an inkling, using the light of his cellphone, started searching on foot for the passenger. A break in the brushes beside the road led him to the man who was foundering in a ditch.

“I think he thought he could run across, and he didn’t realize he was going to run into a ditch,” Stanley said.

“He was in the water and couldn’t get out. He needed help.”

When the man slipped briefly under water, Stanley scrambled down the steep embankment and grabbed on to his wrists, managing to get his head and chest out of the water with a lot of tugging.

He also tossed the man one sleave of his jacket and eventually, he was able to grab him and hold him there as he waited for police. He said he was glad the man was able to get some medical help.

His sister Laila Stewart called it a bizarre and dramatic story adding that the bus was stopped at the roadside for awhile. She says her brother is a great guy. “He loved driving and he loved dealing with passengers,” said Stewart.

Stanley had been driving bus for 34 years and said it’s been an interesting career. He said there has always been problems of some sort with passengers and that the violence today is no worse than it was three decades ago. He added that he’s always tried to help out passengers.

Driving bus is good job for those who like people, he added. “I’d recommend it to anybody.”

On that cold October night, after just saving a stranger’s life in an autumn storm, he just went back to work. “I had to go back and finish my shift after that and I was soaking wet.”



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge Bears posted “big bear hugs” to everyone who has worked toward better co-existence this year. (Facebook)
Ten fewer bears have been shot in Maple Ridge

Conservation group celebrating success this year

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A giant pumpkin is rolled onto the scale to be weighed. (Steve and Pascale Shaw/Special to The News)
Pumpkin weighing 197 kilograms takes first place in Maple Ridge contest

Trevor Halliday wins second annual Whonnock Giant Pumpkin contest.

Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.
Flu shots more important during pandemic

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 overlap, and so do precautions

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from Bike Parkades

Rules at Maple Ridge’s Maple Meadows Station ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read