Richmond, TX – A generous Texas State trooper covertly helped a 92-year-old woman he didn’t know by paying for a new set of tires for her vehicle after he learned she could not afford to buy them on her own.
The chance encounter occurred at Integrity Tire on the morning of June 11, after Mary Summers, 92, showed up early to have her tire repaired, KHOU reported.
Shop mechanic Omar Oregueda told her that she had a nail in her tire, but that he wouldn’t be able to fix it.
“The tire on her vehicle wasn’t repairable and the other tires were shot,” Oregueda told KHOU, adding that the other three tires were cracked and unsafe. “They were already completely destroyed.”
In order to make her vehicle safe and dependable, Summers needed a new set of tires that would cost in excess of $600.
But it was more than the elderly woman could afford to pay.
“I said, ‘Well, I can’t do all the tires. I can just do the one. Just tell me much the one tire is going to be,’” Summers recounted to KHOU.
Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) Trooper Drew Stoner was sitting in the shop waiting for an oil change when he overheard Summer’s exchange with Oregueda.
“I’m thinking, ‘What if she goes out on the road and a tire goes out on her [or] kind of falls apart on her, and she’s on the side of the road?’” Trooper Stoner later told KHOU.
Before leaving the shop, Trooper Stoner stopped at the front counter and paid for a new set of tires for the elderly woman without ever saying a word to her.
He left the business a moment later.
Shortly thereafter, Oregueda told Summers that she would be leaving with four brand-new tires, KHOU reported.
She was in complete disbelief.
“He said, ‘They’re paid for and everything,’” Summers told the news outlet. “And I said, ‘Who paid for it?’ And he said, ‘The trooper that was in here.’”
She said she was stunned that the trooper had done something so kind for a stranger.
“I can hardly talk about it now because I want to cry because he did that,” she continued. “And he did it, and he left.”
Summers desperately wanted to thank Trooper Stoner, so KHOU tracked him down.
He told the news outlet that he didn’t want any attention, but that he was happy to meet up with Summers.
The elderly woman hugged him during the heartwarming exchange that followed.
“I’m just so thankful for you, and I’m so proud,” Summers told Trooper Stoner. “I’m proud to meet someone that has a heart that big. I just love you to death.”
Touched by Trooper Stoner’s selfless act of kindness, Oregueda ended up giving Summers an oil change for free, KHOU reported.
“For a stranger to take care of another stranger like that – let’s all just take care of each other,” Oregueda said. “That’s what it’s about.”