'Hummer Hero' humbled by bravery award

Darrell Krushelnicki reacts after being awarded the bronze medal for bravery during the Royal...

Darrell Krushelnicki reacts after being awarded the bronze medal for bravery during the Royal Canadian Humane Association awards presentation at Edmonton Police Service headquarters on November 12, 2012. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/QMI Agency)

Allison Salz, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:55 PM ET

EDMONTON - They may call him the "Hummer Hero" but Darrell Krushelnicki doesn't consider it so.

The 46-year-old Taber, Alta., resident was one of 26 people awarded medals of bravery Monday from the Royal Canadian Humane Association for heroic actions across the province.

Krushelnicki drove his Hummer into the path of a speeding car to prevent three teens and a three-year-old child from being mowed down at a crosswalk near Bonnie Doon mall Aug. 31.

"I just reacted the way I believe anybody would," he said, adding that being dubbed the "Hummer Hero" is a bit overwhelming.

"I didn't realize how big of a deal it was going to turn out to be. It's very surprising and very overwhelming."

According to witnesses, the driver of a Pontiac G5 had been speeding northbound on 83 Street, from Whyte Avenue.

Several reported the driver had been talking on his cellphone and had passed a number of vehicles stopped at the crosswalk on 84 Avenue to allow the teens to cross.

Krushelnicki, who is still looking for another vehicle, had just dropped off his girlfriend at the mall, when he noticed the speeding vehicle approaching the pedestrians.

"It was a situation again where many things could have gone wrong. I just reacted. It wasn't really a thinking thing. It was a reaction," he said, adding that even though his vehicle was a complete write-off, he'd do the same thing again if he had to.

"I'm happy to see everybody, including the driver of the other vehicle, were injury free."

Intact Insurance, Krushelnicki's insurance company, later announced that it would not charge Krushelnicki with an at-fault crash.

The company also waived his deductible.

The teens, 15-year-olds Kyle McInnes and Janice Marett, along with 14-year-old Chase Fediuk, were on hand for the ceremony.

Krushelnicki embraced the teens and said he was appreciative that they came to show their support.

"You guys look great, thank you so much for coming, I'm really touched," he said.

"It's the least we could do for saving our lives," McInnes said.

McInnes was walking with Marett and Fediuk, along with Fediuk's three-year-old cousin Ava when they approached the crosswalk.

When the lights started flashing, they proceeded to cross the street. McInnes said they heard a big crash -- but it took a while before they understood what had just unfolded.

"We heard the car crash. It was later on that we realized that the Hummer prevented the car from hitting us," McInnis said.

"We're really appreciative. It's something that maybe not a lot of people would do."

The man driving the car Krushelnicki struck has since been charged with dangerous driving.

Also recognized were Tyler Fowler and Dion Lefebvre, who helped save two people in a crash on Highway 63 near Wandering River in April that claimed seven lives.

allison.salz@sunmedia.ca

@SUNAllisonSalz


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