News / Calgary

Calgary bus driver goes above and beyond helping passenger home

Helen McKay’s terrible trek through the snow took a turn with a transit driver helped her out

Calgary Transit driver Hector Villamil just wanted to make sure a passenger was okay, and safe on her journey home.

Courtesy Ron Collins

Calgary Transit driver Hector Villamil just wanted to make sure a passenger was okay, and safe on her journey home.

A frigid bus ride for Calgarian Helen McKay ended in a heart-warming helping hand from one of the city’s transit drivers.

On Sunday morning, the final bus on McKay’s route home pulled up – but unfortunately, a malfunction in the vehicle prevented it the bus from ‘kneeling’ down, which is done to help passengers who can’t reach the first step.

McKay has a disability and walks with a cane. The wind whipping at her neck, she managed yell out to the bus driver, Hector Villamil, that she couldn’t reach the step.

Villamil promptly stepped off the bus, put his arms under the women’s shoulders and helped her on.

“When I got to my destination, he actually pulled past the bus stop until we were actually at my street, so that I wasn’t walking too far,” explained McKay.

Then, not only did Villamil help her off the bus, but he also took her hand and escorted her across the busy intersection.

“He led me by the hand, took my across the street, and put his hand up to all the traffic to tell them to stop. And I burst into tears,” she said. “Because – oh, I’m crying now – I‘m so grateful. I felt so vulnerable.

“I get around with my cane, and think I can do all this stuff, but when you come across weather like this and you’re getting the bus, it’s pretty hard on the disabled and elderly.”

Villamil said he had to help a few people over the weekend, because of the weather.

“I wish I could have done more for her,” he admitted. “We have to carry on with the bus – there are customers on board. But everyone was really nice (on the bus).”

If he had the time, Villamil said he would have liked to talk more with McKay, and make sure she was alright.

McKay said it’s reaffirming that Calgarians willing to help someone in need.

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