Vehicle catches fire shortly after man pulled from wreck
Three passersby pulled a man from a flaming wreck after a two-vehicle crash on Highway 59 that sent three people to hospital Saturday night.
Around 9:30 p.m., a vehicle travelling east on PR 311 ran through a stop sign, hitting a northbound vehicle on Highway 59, near Niverville. The northbound vehicle crashed into a pole, while the eastbound vehicle went into the ditch and caught fire.
Monica Chaput was driving with her sister when she saw the crash happen.
"(The east-bound car) didn't slow down, just flying by. My sister said, ‘look they're not even slowing down,’ and then I looked and there were head lights right there and sure enough they just hit each other,” said Chaput.
"My sister, she went to the vehicles and people behind me came. They stopped too, and they ran and they pulled the man out from the burning car,” she said. “We couldn't get anyone out of the jeep."
In the jeep were two women; a 25-year-old from Winnipeg and a 24-year-old from St. Cloud, Minnesota. Both were taken to hospital in serious condition but are now listed as stable.
STARS air ambulance transported the 65-year-old male driver of the car to hospital with substantial injuries. He’s currently listed in stable condition in hospital in Steinbach.
"I don't know what would have happened to that gentleman if people didn't stop and help,” said Jeff Hazelhurst, who also helped on the scene. “I don't think he'd be here today that's for sure.”
Hazelhurst said it was a “horrible scene,” and described how one woman “literally put her first through the window,” to get a dog out of the back seat of the burning car.
Hazelhurst hopes the province takes notice, and works to improve safety conditions on Highway 59.
“Whenever there's a bad accident, there's a further outcry for them to do more with it. So here's hoping something good comes out of it,” he said.
Alcohol is not considered a factor in this crash. Police are still investigating.