RANDOLPH — Rollie Pelkey put the Kennebec Journal newspaper on a chair on the deck of Dianne McLaughlin’s home, but he didn’t see anyone outside. It was 2 a.m. on May 31, and dark.

“I started to walk away, then I heard a  noise,” the newspaper carrier said. “I saw her on the deck under the table.”

“She was barely conscious. There was blood on her, blood on the deck and her bathrobe. Her nose was bleeding,” he said.

McLaughlin started to move around, so he helped her to a chair and she told him her mother was inside.

He went in, calling “Mom, Mom,” to rouse McLaughlin’s mother, Helen Coutts, and used his cellphone to contact rescue.

Pelkey then moved his car out of the driveway and onto Barber Road, turning on the flashing lights so the ambulance could find the right house.


His help may have saved McLaughlin’s life.

Doctors theorize that McLaughlin, 62, had suffered a bad reaction to a new medication.

“It must have been a hell of a reaction to it. I passed out. I didn’t faint,” McLaughlin said a week after the incident. “My nose still hurts, my head still hurts.”

McLaughlin was grateful for Pelkey’s help.

“I don’t know how long I laid out there. I don’t know how he found me on the deck. How he picked me up off the deck and put me in the chair I don’t know.”

McLaughlin said she was sitting on the deck the next morning when Pelkey delivered the paper.


“He jumped out of the car and gave me a big hug and said, ‘I’m so glad to see you,’” she said.

McLaughlin told him, “If it hadn’t been for you. I could have bled to death before anybody found me.”
Pelkey was glad to help.

“I’m just glad I came around when I did,” he said Friday.

Charlene McGraw, circulation manager for the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, learned about Pelkey’s actions after McLaughlin called the Kennebec Journal to thank the carrier.

“He is a very humble person,” McGraw said. “He never mentioned to any of us that he did this act of kindness and heroism. He is very kind, generous and does a great job.”

Pelkey, 46, of Winthrop, who delivers newspapers in Randolph, Pittston and Whitefield, has been a carrier for 7 1/2 years, and this is the third time he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty while on the job.


In October 2009 he was delivering papers around 2 a.m. on Route 9 in Chelsea when he found fellow carrier Joseph Paul Yager of West Gardiner, who suffered head and eye injuries after being beaten on Route 9 in Chelsea. 

In 2006, Pelkey had notified his zone manager about his concerns for a customer after seeing a build-up of papers over several days. It turned out the customer had died, McGraw said.

Pelkey also is athletic director at St. Michael School in Augusta and coaches girls’ soccer at Winthrop Middle School and softball at Gardiner Regional Middle School.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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