Good Samaritan: ‘I don’t feel like a hero’
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:47PM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 4, 2012 7:13PM MDT
Edmonton police are touting the efforts of a Good Samaritan, after he took measures to prevent an allegedly distracted driver from colliding with pedestrians last week.
Police said the incident happened on August 31, after 4 p.m. - police were called to a two-vehicle collision at 83 Street and 84 Avenue.
When police arrived, they discovered a Pontiac G5 had been speeding northbound on 83 Street, from Whyte Avenue.
According to witness reports, the driver had been talking on his cell phone, and had passed a number of vehicles that were stopped to allow children use a crosswalk on 84 Avenue.
As this happened, Darrel Krushelnicki, of Taber, had been leaving the Bonnie Doon Mall parking lot – and noticed the speeding vehicle approaching the pedestrians.
Police said Krushelnicki took proactive measures, and drove his Hummer in front of the oncoming vehicle.
“I was merging out to go through the intersection and I was at about the halfway point, the vehicles travelling north and southbound were all stopped, except in the far lane,” Krushelnicki said in a phone interview from Fort Nelson, B.C.
Krushelnicki confirmed he also witnessed the driver of the car had been on his cellphone at the time.
“I could see him coming, and I could kind of see what was going to happen and I guess I just reacted.”
The collision caused extensive damage to the front end of his Hummer, but neither driver was injured in the crash.
Krushelnicki told CTV News he was worried his insurance company might not cover the costs of repairs – however a local insurance representative told CTV News given the circumstances, it should be covered.
“His actions, potentially saved the lives of some if not all of those children,” EPS spokesperson Scott Pattison said.
Police don’t recommend drivers put their lives at risk – but they suggest Krushelnicki’s action’s be recognized.
However, the Good Samaritan himself doesn’t expect special attention.
“No I don’t feel like a hero,” Krushelnicki said. “I truly believe that in any state most people would have done exactly that because you could just see prematurely what was going to happen.
“It was just all bad, so I just did what I had to do.”
Police have charged 23-year-old John Heitzman has been charged with dangerous driving in connection to the incident.
As a result, Heitzman is facing a $402 fine and a loss of six demerit points.
On Tuesday, police also revealed statistics on distracted driving, one year after the legislation came into effect.
In one year, police have issued nearly 3,800 tickets – and said most of those infractions were for using a cellphone while behind the wheel.
With files from Susan Amerongen