Melanie Laagland-Winder was on her way home to Fredericton after a trip to Cap-Pelé, N.B., when she noticed she was low on gas.
She was driving through Jemseg. The closest gas station was 10 kilometres away.
"I ran out 2.4 kilometres away from the gas station," said Laagland-Winder, who had just purchased a new trailer for her pressure washing business, Total Exterior Solutions Inc.
"I pulled my truck over and I just kind of stuck my hand out the door or the window and tried to wave a couple of people down."
It took some time. No one would pull over. So she got out of the truck and tried again. She considered whether she should call roadside assistance. Finally, someone in a white SUV pulled over.
"An older gentleman pops out in his Sunday best and asks me if everything's OK," said Laagland-Winder.
She explained that she was out of gas. He asked if she had a gas can, which she didn't. He said that was OK, and that he'd be back with gas.
Melanie Laagland-Winder and her partner plan to pay it forward after she received roadside help from a stranger. (Melanie Laagland-Winder)
As Laagland-Winder waited, she started to panic. She was wondering if he was actually going to come back.
"I had already waited and waited and waited for this gentleman to bring the gas can back," said Laagland-Winder.
"There's a lot of strange people in the world right now, and … there's a very good possibility that he could have got spooked and said, 'I'm not going back there.'"
She said she would've understood if he didn't come back, and she was starting to consider what she would do if he didn't return. But eventually, the man returned.
"He pulled up and handed me a gas can full of gas, and I asked him what I owed him and he said nothing. He said, 'Just do it for somebody else.'"
Even though she never got the name of the man who helped her, she plans to follow through with his request.
"We definitely will pay it forward," she said.