He doesn’t wear a cape or fly with lightning speed. He doesn’t zoom through Gotham City or shoot spider webs from his wrists. But he’s Hall County’s newest super hero, and he’s here to help.
Known as the Road Ranger, Paul Meggs provides roadside assistance to anyone he sees stranded on the side of the road. Meggs, a Flowery Branch resident and part-time engineer at the Glory 1330 radio station, will stop on his way to work or on his way home or anytime in between when he sees someone in need.
He’s been at it since April.
“Just going back and forth to work, I kept seeing people that were broken down on the side of the road,” Meggs said. “They would be women, children, Hispanics, blacks, every race, every color, every creed, every size, and nobody stopped. I didn’t stop either. I just didn’t think about it.”
But after a life-changing heart attack and three surgeries, Meggs decided to become a modern-day Good Samaritan.
“I can only say that I felt — and I know this is going to sound crazy — but I felt like God spoke to me, and that this was what I was meant to do,” Meggs said. “But I felt like I was the last person in the world qualified to do this.”
Nevertheless, he had both his car and motorcycle certified with the state for roadside assistance, made up some signs, gathered equipment and started his random acts of kindness.
He carries battery chargers, booster cables, plenty of gas and a giant water bottle, among other emergency equipment. When he’s on his motorcycle, he totes everything in a backpack.
He says he’s rescued more than 100 travelers and saved three lives.
“I never expected anything like this,” Meggs said. “I expected to maybe run into one a month. But I would say the average is about three a day.”
Though he may sound like one of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Highway Emergency Response Operators, according to one associate, Meggs offers a little more.
“They give you help, and they’re gone,” said Mike Wofford, who works with Meggs at Glory 1330. “Whereas I think Paul has the opportunity to minister to people while he’s out there helping them.”
Meggs said he uses his Road Ranger operation as a ministry, but he’s not too assertive with his proclamations of faith.
“I don’t hit them with it or anything like that,” Meggs said.
Recently, he helped a family stranded with a flat tire. The car had custom wheels, so the Road Ranger equipment wasn’t helpful.
Meggs didn’t leave, though. He stayed with the family and talked — about motorcycles, music, cars, faith and everything in between.
When another family member arrived with help, Meggs felt like he could go.
“That’s when I said, ‘OK, you’ll be fine now.’ And we hugged each other,” Meggs said. “I get a lot of hugs from all kinds of people.”
Meggs emphasized the importance of the state’s Move-Over Law, which says drivers must move over for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. He said he’s been “brushed” seven or eight times from cars flying by too closely as they pass.
But the Road Ranger continues without an inkling of fear.
“As soon as I am on that motorcycle or in that car or at the side of the road, I’m not afraid at all,” Meggs said. “That is the last thing on my mind. The most (important) thing on my mind is helping that person. I’m not thinking about the fear factor at all. Not ever.”