The wreckage of Elijah John’s car after it hydroplaned and slid down and embankment Nov. 5 at Herrling Island. Submitted photo

Driver who stopped to help B.C. car crash victim found, after family’s plea

Elijah John’s family asked the public to help find the man and boy who helped their son

On a dark November night, Justin Wynker and his 12-year-old son were on their way to Chilliwack for drum practice when he saw something strange along the side of the highway.

“It was raining really, really hard and it was really dark. And I came around the corner I thought I saw something around the corner of my eye,” Justin Wynker.

“I thought I saw some headlights in the median, which is kind of weird. I thought I kind of saw a little bit of a shine…and possibly somebody standing there.”

Knowing the area sees a lot of crashes, Wynker decided to turn around. Doubling back east along Highway 1 to the Jones Lake exit, Wynker then turned and drove the same stretch of Highway 1 westbound before he spotted the man just after the Peters Road exit.

It 18-year-old Elijah John, who had nearly given up hope after escaping the wreckage of his car and trying to flag down help.

Last week, The Hope Standard wrote about John’s crash and his family’s search for the man and boy who stopped to help him, without which they believe he would not alive today.

After commenting on the story on Facebook, The Hope Standard reached out to Wynker for his version of events.

RELATED: 18-year-old Hope man searches for those who stopped to help him after a nearly-fatal car crash

When Wynker found John, he was in rough shape. John had been on his way home from the University of the Fraser Valley, where he’s a first-year student, when he started to hydroplane and crashed.

It wasn’t clear how injured he was, but Wynker could see he was soaked from the rain, his arm was bloody and his clothing was ripped. Wynker put him into the passenger seat of his truck as his son climbed into the back and quickly called 911.

“I asked him his name and he managed to get it out. Then I asked him if he was married and he said ‘I wish’,” Wynker said, laughing as he remembered John’s answer.

But the young man couldn’t remember any names of family members to call. He was close to passing out, so Wynker kept speaking with him to keep him awake. He placed jackets on top of him to keep him warm.

The ambulance then arrived and took John to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. He now faces a long recovery from a fractured neck and ribs, and the possibility of his lungs collapsing again.

“I’m not surprised that nobody else stopped, I don’t think that anybody even saw him there,” Wynker said. “I think plenty of people would have stopped if they’d seen him.”

He is glad he found John when he did.

“He was pretty delirious when he was in the truck,” Wynker said. “It was so dark, if there was a big semi-truck coming around the corner and he was standing right on the shoulder or stumbling out in the road, nobody would have seen him.”


Is there more to this story?


news@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Eighteen-year-old Elijah John graduated from Hope Secondary School June 2018. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

RCMP confirm homicide investigation underway near Quesnel

Police releasing few details four days after homicide occurred Monday, July 6

Most Read