An Edmonton man has been in hospital for three weeks after trying to save a driver whose vehicle veered off the road in B.C. on May 6 at around 6:30 p.m.
The Good Samaritan, Trevor Mills, now has a long road to recovery, and the man he helped is being investigated for impaired driving.
Mills knew something bad was going to happen as he watched the vehicle ahead of him drive all over the road that night.
“As I was going through Kootenay National Park, the vehicle ahead of me seemed to be pretty erratic and driving,” Mills said. “There were times he was pretty much touching the ditch and almost head-on collisions.”
Mills said he tried calling police to get the driver off the road but couldn’t get through because of poor reception in the mountains.
“Not wanting to pass and be ahead of him and have him hit me, I just kind of stayed back to follow him,” Mills.
Eventually, the driver veered off the highway down a 150-feet embankment near the brake check in Kootenay National Park, around eight kilometres east of Radium Hot Springs, RCMP said.
Without hesitation, Mills said he pulled over to help the trapped driver.
“This one Good Samaritan, in particular, scaled a mountainside basically to try and assist this driver who was down 150-plus-foot embankment and trapped inside their wreckage,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey with B.C. RCMP said.
“Basically, just bound down the hill to where he was, and he opened his door at that point,” Mills said. “When I pulled him (from the driver’s seat), the vehicle basically twisted and the back of the Tahoe rolled over the top of me… My chest was a little crunchy and my pelvis was very sore, so I knew that I needed help.
“I remember all of it, and it was extremely scary,” Mills said.
Mills broke his pelvis and ribs, had a bruised heart and lungs, and suffered internal bleeding.
“Our Good Samaritan had to be air-flown out of the area by STARS Air Ambulance to a larger centre in Alberta for enhanced medical care while the driver of that vehicle was transported by ground ambulance to a local hospital for less serious injuries,” O’Donaghey said.
“It did take fire crews with the use of long line rescue equipment to save both of those individuals and bring them back up to the roadway for safety.”
Mills remains at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary until a bed opens up at an Edmonton facility.
The 46-year-old had just celebrated his birthday the day before the accident and has been overwhelmed by support from his family and friends while he recovers.
“It’s opened my eyes a bit to what’s truly important to you. I have my 14-year-old daughter Brinley, 13-year-old son Tysaiah and wife Michelle, and they’ve been very supportive,” Mills said.
RCMP said the trapped driver refused to provide blood samples and they’re looking at the cause of the crash.
“We have launched a criminal investigation, impaired investigation after some suspicions were raised about (how) the driver may have consumed alcohol prior to the crash,” O’Donaghey said.
“We did make a demand for blood samples from our suspect driver, which he allegedly refused.”
Despite the ordeal, Mills said helping was the right thing to do.
“Whether (alcohol) was the cause of the accident or not, we should still be looking out for each other,” Mills said.
“I have been in a lot of pain and it hurts and knowing that I got hurt in it, would I second guess it? Yeah, maybe I would, but what if I had kids in a car and I wasn’t there? Would you want somebody to stop and help your family or help your loved one? Of course, you would.”
O’Donaghey is shocked by the situation and said the two men are both lucky to be alive.
“It certainly could have lead to someone losing a life, and we’re thankful that neither of them did,” O’Donaghey said.
“It’s horrible to see that (Mills) put himself in that position to help somebody else, yet in the end, he was quite severely injured.”
RCMP added that the driver is expected to appear in Invermere provincial court on July 26.
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