September 4, 2012
Man drives Hummer in path of car to save children
By Pamela Roth, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Darrell Krushelnicki didn't think twice when he pulled his Hummer in front of a speeding car in order to prevent four children crossing the street from being mowed down.
The 46-year-old from Taber, Alta., was in Edmonton on Friday visiting his parents and had just dropped off his girlfriend at Bonnie Doon Mall. He was stopped at an intersection around 4:30 p.m. when he noticed four kids, ranging in age from three to 16, crossing the street at a marked crosswalk with overhead amber lights.
All the vehicles on the road had stopped, except for a car whizzing up in the far lane. Krushelnicki noticed the car travelling at high speed so he crept into the intersection with his 2006 Hummer.
"I could just tell it was a bad scenario that was going to take place," said Krushelnicki, who works in the oilpatch in northern B.C. "The driver did not see the crosswalk, the amber light flashing, nor the posted speed limit and he appeared to be on a hand-held device of some sort talking."
In order to prevent a disaster, Krushelnicki drove his vehicle in front of the speeding car, which hit the front end of his passenger side, pushing in the bumper and grill.
Aside from a loose tooth, Krushelnicki wasn't injured in the collision. He immediately jumped out of his vehicle to make sure the shaken kids -- who watched the crash occur within about 15 or 20 feet of them -- were okay.
"They were all shaken up. I couldn't see any visual injuries. I asked them to go sit on the lawn of the church on the corner," said Krushelnicki, noting some of the kids were crying. He then approached the driver of the car.
"He looked a little shaken and disoriented."
According to police, witnesses reported that the driver of a 2007 Pontiac G5 was speeding and allegedly speaking on his cell phone when he passed several vehicles that were stopped to let the four children use the crosswalk.
Now, police are commending Krushelnicki's actions.
"These children potentially could have sustained serious injuries and or death," said police spokesperson Scott Pattison, noting Krushelnicki will be recommended for a citizen's award.
"Obviously, it's not something we want to see people do, but certainly his spontaneous actions may have saved the lives of four children. It's a miracle he wasn't hurt himself."
Krushelnicki is overwhelmed by all the attention he's received about the incident.
"I was really taken by surprise by all of this," he said.
"I'm just glad the kids are okay and the only thing that needs repairs is some twisted metal."
John Troy Heitzman, 23, is charged with dangerous driving.