It was 3 a.m. Wednesday. Paul Black never expected to rescue someone in a grassy ditch along a dark country road.

Black is a newspaper carrier for the Telegram. He was getting ready to throw papers to subscribers on Franklin Road west of Troy and northwest of Pendleton. He had just come down Willow Grove Road and approached Southerland Road.

He saw a tire in the ditch. Black aimed his headlights at the tire and saw it was part of an ATV. Then he saw a man lying in the ditch in front of the ATV, and the man appeared to be in his 70s or 80s.

“Who are you?” the man asked.

“I’m your paper boy,” Black said.

The man, who had a cane, said he needed help. Black helped him up into the vehicle he drove. He wanted to take him to the hospital, but the man insisted he wanted to go home.

Black took him home and helped him into the house. The man said he was fine, but Black noted his labored breathing, he said. He called 911, and Temple EMS, an ambulance and members of a small volunteer fire department arrived.

Troy Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call in the 7700 block of Franklin Road, Fire Chief Justin Jackson said. He didn’t know the injured man’s condition.

The injured man couldn’t be reached by press time.

Black works at night as a newspaper carrier for the Telegram. It’s his second job. He’s a full-time employee at Artco-Bell, and he’s worked there for almost 35 years, he said.