British Columbia

Good Samaritan given new car after driving stranded family to Alaska

Gary Bath drove an American family 1,700 kilometres in wintry conditions to the Alaskan border in November. Now he's been offered a new car and a lifetime supply of road trip snacks.

After a B.C. man drove an American family to Alaska, a U.S. peanut company took notice

Gary Bath stepped forward when an American traveller needed help on the Alaska Highway. (Dave Croft/CBC)

A Good Samaritan from Fort St. John, B.C., is being rewarded with a new set of wheels for going out of his way to help an American resident reunite with her family at the Alaskan border.

In November, Gary Bath was praised for driving Lynn Marchessault and her family from Pink Mountain, B.C., just north of his hometown, to the Alaskan border near Beaver Creek, Yukon, after seeing a request for help online.

Marchessault was travelling from Georgia to Alaska to join her husband and she was so uncomfortable with the winter driving conditions, she didn't feel she could complete the trip. She took to the internet to find someone that could help her finish the trek.

Without hesitation, Bath offered to drive the group 1,700 kilometres up the Alaska Highway.

"Somebody was stranded, asking for help, so I was in a position to give her help," he told Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk. 

The Alaska Highway between Fort St. John, B.C. and Beaver Creek, Yukon. (CBC)

Since then, Bath said he's received countless messages of thanks and congratulations from individuals who have heard his story. 

Now, he and Marchessault have each been offered a new car — and a lifetime supply of peanuts — from Planters, the American nut company. 

"We didn't think it would get as far as it did, let alone having Planters contact us and offer us a new car. It's been crazy," Bath said.

The company says the gifts are part of its decision to forego an expensive ad campaign for the Super Bowl this year, and instead, put $5 million toward recognizing people who have helped others.

Bath, second from left, and Lynn Marchessault, third from left, with a Beaver Creek RCMP officer and the Marchessault family at the American border. (Gary Bath)

Bath and Marchessault have become quite close since their meeting. Bath said the pair talk online every day, and he and his wife even sent a Canadian care package to the family filled with ketchup chips and Tim Hortons coffee.

To hear the full interview with Gary Bath, click here: 

In November, Gary Bath gave a stranger a 1,700 km lift to Alaska. His kind act went viral, and now he's being rewarded in unexpected ways. 5:58

With files from Daybreak North and The Canadian Press

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