Paying it forward

TROY — Isayah Meza isn’t used to sitting on the sidelines.

Meza, 14, is a seventh-grader at Troy Junior High School and is a member of the football team. On Sept. 19, Meza was on his way to the skate park to meet with friends.

He never made it there.

Meza was involved in a hit and run accident while he was riding his bike to the park in the area of Harrison Street. On that Saturday afternoon, Meza collided with a pick-up truck that fled the scene as he was thrown off his bike and suffered a severe concussion. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Meza’s aunt and guardian Melinda Helton, started a GoFundMe account to raise money for a reward to find the person who struck Meza. Thanks to an anonymous tip from the community, Chris Compton, of Troy, was later apprehended and charged for his alleged involvement in the accident.

Helton, who offered to return the funds to the donors, was gifted the funds, added $200 of her own money and purchased 80 new children’s helmets for the Troy Fire Department on Wednesday.

Helton and Meza, along with Troy Fire Department Assistant Chief Gary Stanley, Chief of Police Shawn McKinney, Patrolman Zach Hook, and Troy Junior High School Principal Jeff Gruilich were part of a recognition ceremony during halftime of the junior high football game, in honor of the donation.

The ceremony also recognized the efforts of Troy Junior High eighth-graders Alexa Klingshirn and Kristin Fogle who were also on the bike path that day and came to Meza’s aid. The pair called 9-1-1 and stayed with Meza until medics and first responders came to the scene.

“We’re glad he’s OK,” Fogle said, noting Klingshirn was the one who called 9-1-1.

Meza said he’s looking forward to wrestling and track this year.

“I wish I could get out there and tackle somebody, but I’ll be out there next year,” he said.

Stanley said due to COVID-19 restrictions, the station is limited to events at the current time to pass the helmets out. If a child needs a bicycle helmet, email Stanely at or call (937) 339-3140 to set up an appointment.