The driver of a car that crashed into a power pole and burst into flames late Saturday in Pitt Meadows remains in hospital in serious condition, according to RCMP.
The male driver was one of five people – including a woman and three children – pulled from a burning SUV by bystanders.
According Pitt Meadows fire chief Don Jolley, the vehicle hit a large, metal transmission pole on Lougheed Highway, in front of Boston Pizza at Meadowtown Centre, at a high speed just after 10:30 p.m.
Upon impact, the SUV flipped on to its side and burst into flames.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, according to Ridge Meadows RCMP.
Jolley said the speed of the impact likely severed the vehicle’s fuel line.
While firefighers were on their way, seven or eight bystanders lifted the SUV back on to its wheels, opened all the doors, helped get all five occupants – two adults and three children – out, while the vehicle was on fire.
“It was a super human kind of thing,” Jolly said.
“They certainly risked their lives.”
All occupants were taken to hospital, but police said the injuries of the other family members were not as serious as those of the driver.
The driver had reportedly gone into medical distress prior to the crash, according to reports.
The SUV was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.
Meanwhile, 10 to 12 vehicles stopped along the highway, some occupants recording the fire with cell phones while firefighters put out the fire.
“It’s not only low to do that, but it has an impact on responders,” Jolley added.
“Just get out of the way.”
It’s not the first time he’s seen that.
“There’s no human decency, no common sense. It’s a sad statement about the society we live in – people filming, not helping.”
The Pitt fire department would like to identify all the people who did help and recognize them for their heroism.
“They saved the lives of an entire family last night.”
• Contact the Pitt Meadows fire department at 604-465-2401.