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'It seemed like a nightmare': Survivor of crash that killed 4 teens recovering in Winnipeg hospital


The mother of a 15-year-old girl recovering in hospital after a major car crash is thanking the first responders who pulled her from the wreckage.

Tanya Yurkiw says her 15-year-old daughter Hanna is a social butterfly with a smile that lights up the room.

Sitting at Health Sciences Centre Children's Hospital, Yurkiw explained while Hanna is in stable condition right now, she's only able to say a few words intermittently.

Yurkiw said she went to bed at her home in Dauphin Wednesday night after Hanna went out for a drive with friends.

She said she was woken by a friend knocking at her door around 11:00 p.m.

"I opened the door and he basically just swung the door open and yelled for my husband and said,' Hanna is trapped under a semi,'" recalled Yurkiw.

Yurkiw immediately left to go to the collision on Provincial Road 274 near Gilbert Plains, where RCMP say the car Hanna was a passenger in hit the trailer of a semi heading east on Highway 5.

While on the way to the crash, Yurkiw said she was able to reach Hanna on her phone.

"And she answered the phone, and all she said was, 'mommy, I need you, please come and get me.'"

Once at the scene, Yurkiw was stuck watching first responders try to pull her daughter out from under the semi-truck for an hour and a half.

"It seemed like a nightmare. Like a scene from a movie," said Yurkiw. "It's everything possible that you can never imagine and think you'd come across."

Yurkiw said Hanna is on heavy pain medication and is mostly sleeping, only waking up to say a few words or to grab a quick drink.

The other four people in the car, 17-year-old Riley Robak, 17-year-old Le Rouxan Niemann, 18-year-old Alexandra Watt and 18-year-old driver Christopher Swintak, are all dead.

"I grew up in Gilbert. My husband grew up in Gilbert. We both went to school in Gilbert. We know what it's like to come from a small town. My heart is going out back home," said Yurkiw.

Yurkiw said her thoughts are with the other families and is thankful for the first responders who helped her daughter.

"I think it's important to mention the firefighters, the paramedics, everybody there that night was truly amazing. My heart goes out to them as well. It wouldn't have been easy," she said.

Yurkiw said she's also thankful for all of the support the family is receiving.

She added she hasn't had a chance to tell Hanna what happened or about the other people in the car.

RCMP say it is continuing to investigate the crash. It said the driver of the semi-truck was not injured, and Mounties are not contemplating charges against him. Top Stories

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