A Tennessee couple was left stranded with a flat tire while driving in Hawaii, officials said. After six hours, they were rescued.
Dan Kane, 88, and his wife Sheila Kane, 77, were driving on a road to Hana when a car that “was in a big hurry” forced them off the side of the road, according to a Jan. 19 Facebook post by Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The couple’s tire was sliced by a rock and left them “alongside the narrow road on a rainy night with no phone service to call for help,” officials said.
The couple’s rental convertible only had enough space in the trunk for the car’s roof, so they didn’t have a spare tire, according to the release.
“What was developing into a nightmare ending to their Hawaiian vacation became one of its highlights,” officials said in the post.
Sheila Kane told the department that although some people stopped for them, no one was able to offer help until William “Wade” Latham came along.
Latham, a 30-year caretaker with the Division of State Parks Maui, had been helping clean up trees that had fallen during a storm in Makena State Park, officials said.
Latham took five trips, going 5 miles from the Kanes’ car to his home, to make several phone calls to services that could help, according to the release.
Sheila Kane said Latham was “selfless” and “kind.”
“Each time he came back he provided information, and even food and water,” she said in the news release. “He offered to have us spend the night with him and his wife, but we were reluctant to leave our car in the event someone came looking for us.”
Latham called tow truck companies, the Maui Police Department and rental car companies in hopes that someone would be able to help the couple, officials said.
Officials said at about 11 p.m. after more than six hours of going to and from his house to their location, Latham told the couple he needed to get some rest before having to work the next day.
“Throughout the years I’ve helped a lot of tourists change tires, unlock cars, and even provide gas,” Latham said to officials. “This was just one of those situations. I felt obligated to take care of our kūpuna. I just couldn’t leave them in the middle of nowhere. No cell service, no lights, no food, no drink, no nothing.”
Thirty minutes later, a tow truck arrived with a replacement car for the couple.
Latham’s boss wasn’t surprised by his concern and kindness.
“(Latham) exemplifies the very best qualities of a group of workers who typically shun the spotlight,” Larry Pacheco, Latham’s boss, said in the news release. “He’s an example for all of us about how we should and can treat all visitors and residents.”
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