The Ridge Meadows RCMP and Pitt Meadows fire department at the scene of an accident along Lougheed Highway Saturday evening where the vehicle burst into flames. Contributed

The Ridge Meadows RCMP and Pitt Meadows fire department at the scene of an accident along Lougheed Highway Saturday evening where the vehicle burst into flames. Contributed

Witness account to Pitt Meadows accident: “It was on fire on impact.”

Dave Craik, his friend and nine other bystanders stopped to help pull family from burning vehicle in Pitt Meadows.

When Dave Craik and his buddy saw an SUV veer across Lougheed Highway and catch fire Saturday evening, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

It was just after 10:30 p.m. and the pair were on their way home, travelling eastbound by Meadowtown Shopping Centre when the accident happened.

An SUV in front of them veered suddenly from the fast lane through two lanes of traffic, hitting the concrete barrier along the off-ramp to the mall before rolling onto the driver’s side and bouncing off of the hydro pole.

That’s when Craik, his friend and nine other bystanders jumped into action.

“It was on fire on impact. By the time it was engulfed in flames I would probably say realistically about three to four minutes,” said Craik, who first noticed the fire under the hood by the front windshield.

Craik opened up the rear passenger-side door while the car was still up on its side.

At 6 foot 5 inches Craik was easily able to see inside. Along with the unconscious driver there were three children in the back seat that were moving around and a woman in the front seat.

“We were like okay, we are going to roll the car on its wheels,” he said, explaining that there would be no way they could get the people out in time if they didn’t do that.

The nine men rolled the car up over the top of the barrier and onto it’s wheels again.

“We going against gravity on that one,” said Craik who was only wearing flip flops.

Then they started pulling everyone out.

All of the doors opened freely except for the driver’s door.

“We got everyone else out first. Somebody else was working on the driver’s side door at the same time. There was so much help around there it was unbelievable,” said Craik.

The men were having problems with the driver’s door. They were using their hands to try and pry the door open but it wouldn’t budge.

Then another bystander jumped in to help.

“There was three or four of us trying to reef on the door and he got in there and started reefing even harder,” said Craik noting that the driver’s leg was wedged between the door and the seat which added even more urgency to the situation.

When the men got the door open enough to get the driver out they carried his limp body to the side of the road. The driver seemed to be gasping for breath and did move one of his arms a bit but remained unresponsive.

Craik stayed with the family who were on the opposite side of the car and tried to calm them down because he didn’t want them to see their loved one in that condition.

“One girl kept asking how’s my dad, how’s my dad,” said Craik who assured her her dad was out of the burning vehicle and being helped.

When paramedics showed up they started doing CPR and had to use a automated external defibrillator on the man.

There were at least three ambulances on scene and everyone was taken to hospital.

The driver had life-threatening injuries.

Craik helped out with traffic control which was needed since one vehicle actually drove up the ramp into the mall, passing right by the accident and driving over the debris.

Eastbound lanes of the highway were then closed down at about 11:40 p.m. when Ridge Meadows RCMP started their investigation.

Just Posted

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Upset by being called an ‘idiot’

Maple Ridge writer disagrees with majority on COVID safety protocols and their impacts

Ron Paley took a kayak trip around Siwash Island, off the Pitt River near Grants Narrows. “With life’s turmoil, I find peace on the waters,” he shared. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Tranquility found on the water

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read