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Family rescued from fiery Hwy 63 crash meet Good Samaritan who helped save them
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, September 16, 2013 5:34PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, September 16, 2013 7:10PM MDT
Less than three weeks after a Toronto family was pulled from the wreckage of a serious collision on Highway 63, a bystander who stepped in to help finally met the family he played a role in rescuing.
Back on Monday, August 27, Maurice Poirier was on his way home - driving just north of the Highway 55 junction near Boyle at about 7:30 p.m. when he said the tanker truck behind him tried to make a turn, and the brakes of the truck locked.
In moments, the massive truck jack-knifed, and two vehicles travelling behind the truck collided with it.
Poirier told CTV News at the time that he immediately sprang into action once he saw what had happened.
“I ran to the car to see the injuries and tried to get the people out,” Poirier said at the time.
He said one of the vehicles had four people inside, he watched two people escape, but two others were still inside – he said he helped a young boy by cutting his seatbelt and pulling him out, before helping a number of other bystanders pull a 21-year-old woman out.
By the time she was safe, the vehicle they had all been in was engulfed in flames.
That young woman is Zoë Scantlebury, and she, her father Patrick and Poirier met again for the first time weeks after the collision, a moment Poirier had been waiting for.
“You can’t really forget what happened, you keep slipping into the thought of how they’re doing,” Poirier said.
For Patrick Scantlebury, it’s a chance to save a man who played a major role in keeping his family intact.
“He pulled you from the burning vehicle, kept you comfortable and sheltered you from the rain,” Scantlebury told his daughter.
“He saved us, my family’s intact and Zoë is here with us.”
The Scantlebury family is from Toronto – Zoë is an engineering student who had been in Fort McMurray since May for an internship, and her family had been visiting when the crash happened.
In the wake of the collision, RCMP and the Scantlebury crash are crediting not only Poirier’s actions, but the actions of a number of other bystanders who jumped in to help – but its credit the humble construction worker won’t take.
“The only thing I [did] was pull them out of the car, the rest was [Zoë].” Poirier said. “She’s the one that had the will power to go on and hold in there.”
Meanwhile, Zoë remains in an Edmonton hospital, recovering from her injuries, and her father is looking forward to returning home – Patrick had to have surgery after the crash, but has since been released from hospital, Zoë's mother suffered a broken wrist, and her brother was briefly treated for injuries suffered in the crash, but he was released a short time later and has returned to school in Ottawa.
The family is waiting for a hospital in Toronto to be able to admit Zoë, and she will be transported to Ontario when a bed is available.
“Without Maurice’s intervention, it could have been a lot more of a severe situation, terrible burns or death,” Scantlebury said, going on to thank emergency crews, STARS Air Ambulance staff, and hospital workers, along with all of the bystanders who stopped to help.
As for the future, Poirier hopes to keep in touch with the family and keep tabs on Zoë’s recovery.
With files from Brenna Rose