A young male in Vanderhoof escaped with his life Friday Oct. 10 after being thrown out of his moving vehicle during an incident on Nechako Avenue, just east of Redekop Rd.
Around 11 am that morning, Josh Harris 17, left school angry, over what he can not remember. What happened next is still all a bit fuzzy, he said.
“I remember the motion of spinning inside my blazer. The next thing I remember is someone picking me up and getting put down onto a stretcher, riding in the ambulance and then being put into the hospital bed,” said Josh in a telephone interview one week after the crash.
Cindy Brophy was first on scene and orchestrated others nearby to call for help while she waited with Josh until authorities came. Once the firetruck and ambulance arrived, the young man was taken to Vanderhoof hospital where he was treated for severe road rash and deep lacerations. Later he was sent to Prince George as a precaution for further testing.
“It was hard to move for a while,” said Josh. “But every day it gets a bit better.”
RCMP investigation reports determined the crash was a result of speed and failing to wear a seatbelt as the inexperienced driver turned the first corner heading up Kenny Dam road. The police also determined through vehicle-impression evidence that the vehicle could have likely rolled on top of the youth or may have hit him with some capacity if it had continued to roll. The traffic investigator concurred with police and concluded in his report that the car flipped five times, once over Josh, landing a couple feet away on his left, a couple feet away on his right and kept going.
“This individual is very fortunate to be alive and to come away from this type of violent collision in the manner that he did,” said Cpl. Thiessen, detachment commander for the Vanderhoof RCMP. “Based on the evidence we observed at the scene, it is our belief that it was only a matter of a few feet that was the difference between the injury level that was sustained and something much more serious.”
At some point during the tumble, Josh was ejected from one of the vehicle’s windows. Which window is uncertain as all but two rear windows were smashed out. The vehicle is no longer drivable since the front end of it got crushed inward and the driver side door almost completely ripped off.
“My message to all young drivers is don’t speed and wear your seat belt, or you’ll get seriously injured like I did, or worse,” said Josh.
The Vanderhoof RCMP have not laid any formal charges however, they have not been ruled out. Police are waiting until they have all the information and are continuing to investigate. Police are asking any witnesses to the accident or anyone with information about the collision to come forward by contacting the Vanderhoof RCMP at 250-567-2222.