A simple thank you, especially one that is handwritten, can really boost a person’s spirits on any given day.
Such is the case involving a local senior who was safely guided out of a perilous situation by a pair of compassionate Trail RCMP officers.
Not only was the senior taken safely home by the Trail police, his life was likely saved by their caring intervention.
This story began the afternoon of Jan. 29 when Trail RCMP Constables Kurtis Olineck and Leo Turko received a report of an erratic driver travelling southbound on Highway 22 toward Trail.
The elderly male driver was reported to have had a number of near misses with other vehicles.
While patrolling, Const. Olineck located and conducted a traffic stop with the driver of the vehicle. During this roadside investigation, the Mountie learned that the driver was returning home from a neighbouring community after visiting a family member in a care home.
The police officer ruled out intoxicating substances as contributing factors to the erratic and dangerous driving behaviour, including alcohol, illicit drugs or prescribed medication.
Instead, Const. Olineck suspected that the elderly man may have been suffering from medical issues that were causing him to experience some confusion and to drive poorly.
The constable negotiated with the senior driver, who agreed to turn over his keys. Const. Turko, also at the scene, took the keys and drove the man’s car, with him in it, to his home in Montrose. Const. Olineck followed close behind to ensure the man arrived home safely. The officer later made a formal recommendation to the BC Motor Vehicle Branch to have the senior assessed medically in regards to driving a motor vehicle.
A week later, Sgt. Mike Wicentowich, commander for the Greater Trail detachment, received a very thoughtful handwritten letter.
“Just a little token to thank the both of you for going out of your way for me, when you pulled me over in Castlegar for weaving in my lane,” the man wrote. “That same evening I was taken to the hospital emergency room and underwent extensive tests. [The next morning] I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and by 3 p.m., I was rushed into emergency surgery until 11 p.m. that night for a bleed on my brain.
“I can’t thank both of you enough for the care and kindness you showed me,” the man wrote. “This country honesty needs more police officers like the both of you. Had you not intervened this could have went so sad in so many ways. I am home and doing so well now but I just want to thank you both again so much.”
Sgt. Wicentowich, who had the honour of sharing the letter with both his constables says, “Thank you Const. Olineck and Const. Turko for your professionalism and compassion. Your actions combined likely prevented a crash that could have had deadly consequences that day. You both represented yourselves as amongst the best of the RCMP.”