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

 

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

Just Posted

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read