The Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades saw their Newfoundland Senior Hockey League season come to an end last weekend in Clarenville, but the Blades scored their biggest victory on the drive home after the game.
According to Mount Pearl general manager Jim Hare, the Blades were about two kilometres east of the Southern Harbour exit early Saturday morning when he and bus driver Ron Spurrell of Parsons and Sons Transportation noticed an individual leaning against a guard rail along the Trans Canada Highway.
The wind chill temperature was in the area of minus-15 degrees at the time.
Given the circumstances, Hare and Parsons decided they would find a location to turn the bus around and check on the individual.
Within 10 minutes, the bus had returned to the area and found the individual in the same location.
A 57-year-old male was found, cold and alone. He was escorted aboard the bus where checks were made and it was discovered he had walked from Clarenville to his present location on Friday.
“He was somewhat incohesive, but he indicated he was on his way to St. John’s,” said Hare.
Hare, a retired RCMP officer, contacted the Mounties where it was learned he was familiar to the authorities, though not in a criminal sense.
“It was obvious to us he was in distress,” Hare said.
The man was provided with food and soft drinks, and a safe passage to St. John’s where arrangements were made for accommodations that night.
“When you take into account the location, the time of night and weather conditions, we can only assume this could have been a tragic outcome if we hadn’t decided to go back and check on him,” Hare said.