The flat tire | Press

There will be no complaints in this column. I don’t have a shirt to rip off today. Chronicle of a fragment of life.

It was January 9 and Sylvie Patenaude was walking up Saint-Denis towards the Métropolitaine, heading to her home in Anjou.

But his car made a strange noise: “I’m telling you, that day I hit at least four potholes…”

METERme Patenaude decided to inspect his car before entering the fast lane. Turn into Crémazie, turn into Berri, she was sure there was a garage nearby, but she didn’t find one. He parks in front of a bus, gets out of the car…

It didn’t take long to find the cause of the noise that was bothering Sylvie Patenaude in the cabin of her old Hyundai Accent inherited from her late mother: one of the tires had been punctured by a pothole…

She called her boyfriend. Baby come get me, I made a departmentYou are the one who has the CAA card…

“Then I went to see the bus driver,” M told Patenaude, was on break. I knocked on his window…”

The driver opened.

“Do you know where there is a garage nearby, sir?”

– Sorry no. Because ?

“I had a flat tire…”


Carlos Díaz, in front of his bus

The driver of the STM then got out of his vehicle, went to inspect the damage and asked Sylvie Patenaude to open the trunk. Then she simply took out the spare tire and started installing it in place of the flat tire…

No gloves, just his STM jacket, it was cold there!

Sylvie Patenaude

The driver seemed to know how to change a tire, reports Mme Patenaude, who could not believe seeing this stranger come to his aid: “It didn’t even take ten minutes! »

Once the Samaritan driver installed the spare wheel, Sylvie Patenaude wanted to thank him and offered him money, to no avail: repeated refusals from the driver.

“He just told me his name is Carlos, Carlos Díaz… I was shocked, Mr. Lagacé, I was grateful all day, I said to myself: STM drivers do that?! So that night I located his boss, I wrote to her to highlight Mr. Díaz’s good gesture, but with a little fear, in any case, I feared that he would be punished for having taken the time to help me. I know how bosses can be, sometimes… The boss reassured me: no, no, we are not going to punish him, we are going to present his name for the Meritas at the end of the year. Then, later, well, I wrote to you to tell you my story…”

I loved this story, but being held to the highest standards of professionalism of French-Canadian journalism, I still had to validate whether this story was true, so I used my hidden sources at the STM (well, no, actually, I I contacted the media relations department) requesting to be put in contact with the driver Carlos Díaz…

Boom, shortly after I spoke to him on the phone, this Mr. Díaz and his cheerful accent (sorry for the cliché) from Colombia, his homeland.

“I saw the tire on the ground and asked the lady: “Is it equipped?” It was cold, yes, but I did it, it only took a few minutes. She wanted to give me money, I told her: “No ma’am, I’m happy, have a nice day!” »

It turns out that Mr. Díaz, who arrived in the country in 2008, has been a STM bus driver for six years. His training: music. He was an orchestra director and also teaches violin. The mechanic? He grew up, so to speak, in a workshop: “My father was a mechanic…”


Carlos Díaz has been a STM bus driver for six years.

Helping is in the fibers of our man. A bit like a superhero who always drags his cape in the basket of his BIXI, Carlos Díaz drags an autonomous car battery in his car, so he can recharge those of motorists who need it.

My wife, when she sees a broken down car, often tells me: “Don’t look, we have to get to our destination!” She thinks she helped people too much…

Carlos Diaz

But still, Mr. Diaz, you didn’t have to go out and help this stranger, Patenaude, while you were waiting to resume service on line 135, but you did it without hesitation, in the cold, and everything…

Because ?

“I’m glad I could help.” It comes to me from my mother, from my father. I’m Latino, we help each other. We do what our parents taught us, you know…”

I was going to say that we need more Carlos Díaz, but I correct myself: the Carlos Díaz are everywhere, they are among us, they do good every day. The thing is that we almost never see them in the newspapers, the newspapers lack fragments of life.

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