Wrongly accused man says he’d help at an accident again

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Michael Paisley says he would stop to help a stranger again.

The 21 year-old Petrolia man was the first person on the scene when a retired man riding his bicycle was hit by a car and left on the side of Petrolia Line.

Paisley was on his way home from a friend’s house when he spotted a man lying on the grass near a laneway. “I thought he was lying there taking a breather there,” he says. But then he spotted the man’s bike; “The back tire we bent at a 90-degree angle because of the impact.”

Paisley approached the man and it was obvious he’d been hit by a car. “I’ve taken first aid…one of the things you learn is a car and a person don’t go together.”

That first aid training kicked in, despite Paisley’s fear. “This was the first time I had to directly apply my first aid to more than a kid scraping his knee,” he says. Paisley is a camp counselor this summer and will return to school in the fall to continue studying kinesiology. “It was stressful at the moment, but I was remembering everything.”

After examining the cyclist, Paisley said it appeared he didn’t break his back or neck and his best plan of attack was to call 9-11. But his phone was dead. “His phone had stayed in his pocket…I told him I was going to get the address from the next post,” he says.

While Paisley was calling, other drivers stopped. One was a nurse who took charge of the medical situation.

Paisley says the first aid training he had was essential to help in a dire situation. “He was still in shock from the impact…He thanked me a lot and he continued to thank me.” The cyclist called a week later to thank him again and tell Paisley he was doing better. “It was very nice to hear from him.”

But it also made it even more upsetting when the OPP in a news release about the accident said that Paisley was the person charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of the accident. That information was published in The Independent last week which startled and upset the Paisley family.

OPP officials say Paisley’s name was confused with the man who was charged, 29 year old Craig McDonald. The OPP issued a formal apology and publicly corrected their error. He accepted it and says that even though the mix-up was upsetting, he’s glad he stopped.

“I wouldn’t think twice, I would stop again,” says Paisley. “If I was I that situation I wouldn’t want someone to drive by.”

And he encourages people to take some first aid so they are able to help. “The pressure really got to me…but I knew the steps and going through those really helped.

“Having that first aid and knowing something will help you get things done faster. Those are all things that could change an incident.”