Northeast Tarrant

His truck broke down and Martha Stewart, the one from Grapevine, came to his rescue

Joshua Stewart of Dallas (l) gives a hug Saturday morning to Martha Stewart of Grapevine after she helped him when his truck broke down on Texas 114 in Southlake.
Joshua Stewart of Dallas (l) gives a hug Saturday morning to Martha Stewart of Grapevine after she helped him when his truck broke down on Texas 114 in Southlake.

Joshua Stewart could have used an angel Saturday morning when his truck broke down on Texas 114 and he faced towing and repair bills as well as needing four new tires.

Minutes later, she drove up.

Martha Stewart of Grapevine — no relation to Joshua and not the celebrity — stopped after seeing his disabled truck blocking a lane of traffic on Texas 114 and Kimball Avenue.

“At first, I was just going to drive home,” she said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “But then God told me to stop and help.”

By the time all was said and done, she had paid the $380 towing bill, gave him $80 in cash and then paid the $600 for four new tires.

“I’ve never experienced nothing like this from a complete stranger,” Joshua Stewart wrote on his Facebook page hours after he was rescued. “She kept mentioning, ’I can tell you’re a good person.’”

Joshua said he had prayed for help.

“I was really bummed out because I had just fixed the truck about a month ago, and here it was broken again,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. The truck is a 1995 Chevrolet pickup. “She walked up and said she would pay for everything. It seemed like it was a joke.”

Martha Stewart said she doesn’t often stop on the side of the road to help strangers.

“I must have looped around him three to four times before I stopped. I didn’t know where to park so I wouldn’t be in the way of traffic,” she said. “I finally just parked behind the Southlake police car which had stopped at the scene.”

Martha Stewart was crying when she walked up to the Southlake officer.

“He asked me, ‘Are you OK?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’” she said. “I’m not crazy, but I just want to help.”

About that time, Martha noticed that Joshua’s face was buried in his hands. The officer explained that the truck would have to be towed and then he would have to pay to get it out of an auto pound.

Joshua is a carpenter and lives paycheck to paycheck.

“I walked up to him and told him I wanted to help,” Martha said. “We just started hugging each other. I’m sure the other drivers were wondering what was going on.”

Martha explained to Joshua how and what she would do to help him. Her help even included buying four new tires.

“I looked at them and there was no tread on them,” she said. “He told me he had a 4-year-old and I didn’t want him driving on those tires on rainy streets.”

Martha said her family thought her actions were “great.”

“I didn’t want it to be about me,” she said. “I like to help people and this was my chance.”

Southlake police even took a photo of the two on Saturday morning and posted it on their Facebook page.

Joshua called Martha “an angel.”

“Martha only wanted me to return this same favor one day,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “She wanted me to tell you all no matter your race, GOOD PEOPLE STILL EXIST.”

The Dallas carpenter said he talks to his new friend everyday.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “But I’m so thankful for her.”

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It is natural to want to help people in need, but experts say giving cash to panhandlers may not be the best method. A better way to help is by donating to local charities designed to work with the homeless.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr.