Good Samaritan Finds He’s “Selected to Help”

Posted on November 10, 2017

James Welty and his Chevy truck

James Welty lives in a small town with a magnificent view. Florence, Ore., less than a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean and an hour west of Eugene, provides a wealth of activities to keep the 80-year-old busy. And sometimes, seemingly ordinary days keep him busier than expected.

Recently, Welty was pulling into the parking lot of a local grocery store when he witnessed an older woman with an armful of groceries step off the curb, trip, and fall, injuring herself.

A couple things pass through your mind in those moments, Welty says. For about a second, you consider not getting involved. “But you realize you’re the only one there. You’re selected to help,” he says.

So, Welty positioned his 2005 Chevrolet Silverado to prevent the injured woman from being hit by any vehicles in the lot. Then, he pushed the red Emergency button7 to get help. While he comforted the woman, the Advisor relayed information to the store manager via the truck until an emergency medical crew arrived.

“The OnStar Advisors are very official,” he says. “They guide you right through the process. It’s all very efficient.”

That wasn’t the only time this Good Samaritan used OnStar to help a person in need.

James Welty head shot

A month later, Welty was driving on a foggy day when he saw an elderly woman walking down the narrow shoulder and wandering in and out of traffic as if she were disoriented. “You could tell her mobility was hampered,” he says.

So, Welty pushed his red Emergency button and made a U-turn as he talked to the OnStar Advisor. “I told her to stop, then I helped her into the truck.” He then drove to an area where they could safely wait for help.

“She had already walked 3 miles and said she was going to the hospital to see her husband,” Welty says.

An ambulance arrived, and the crew determined she was disoriented, so they took her to the hospital.

OnStar Good Samaritan bag

In addition to using Emergency Services to help others, Welty loves using OnStar Hands-Free Calling.14 He uses his Voice Command button to place and receive calls. He stores his contacts in his 2005 Silverado as name tags, which helps him responsibly stay connected.

“Thank God for OnStar, because everybody assisting is in the communication loop. And it’s safe,” says Welty. “When you make a call with OnStar, your hands are on the wheel.”

When he isn’t fishing in the nearby Pacific Ocean, Welty teaches English at the local middle and high schools. And though he’s retired three times, he keeps going back because, like helping people in need, he knows it’s his calling.

“I love it,” he says. “They keep calling me, so I guess this is what I’m supposed to do.” 

Helping others and creating a stronger community are guiding principles at OnStar, which is why we encourage every OnStar Member to be a Good Samaritan. If you see someone in need, don’t hesitate to push the red Emergency button to call for help. Working together, we can build a safer, better community for everyone.