Okanagan woman survives head-on crash, applauds Kelowna General Hospital staff

A Keremeos resident hit black ice while taking Highway 33 to avoid the Summerland rockslide

  • Feb. 15, 2019 6:10 a.m.

Ginny Bennett woke up a week ago to a woman screaming hysterically after a car crash on Highway 33.

“I was knocked out for a minute because the airbag went off. I woke up to a woman hysterically screaming, ‘my husband, my husband,’ and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve killed someone.’ But I didn’t. He was out for a minute, but came to and was able to move all his extremities.’”

Bennett, a Keremeos resident, was on her way home from Kelowna last Friday after looking after her granddaughter for a few days. With Highway 97 closed because of the rockslide near Summerland, so she took Highway 33. Snow had fallen the night before and early on in the trip she saw a tow truck hauling out a car from a single vehicle collision.

Related: UPDATE: Another crash on Highway 33

The 72-year-old said it was around 12:30 p.m. when she hit a patch of black ice after making a tight corner. She totalled her 2003 CR-V when she hit another vehicle with a couple and two small children inside.

Bennett broke her sternum, and two fingers and knuckles on her left hand.

The highly involved local volunteer is ever the optimist and sees the bright side — the people who helped in her time of need.

Immediately after the accident another motorist named Daniel came to her aid and sat in the car until the paramedics and firefighters arrived. Other people offered blankets. As Bennett fretted someone in the other vehicle might be seriously injured a retired doctor was on scene assessing the situation.

Related: Rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

“The doctor came and talked to me and looked me over as we waited. He told me he expected the other man to be OK and that was a huge relief. Daniel was so good he phoned my daughter and gave her the co-ordinates of where we were.”

The retired medical clerical aid said her experience at Kelowna General Hospital was top-notch from the nursing staff, doctors, lab technicians and the paramedics.

“You only hear the negative about hospitals. You never hear the positive. But these people were top of their game. I know the poor nursers don’t have an easy life. They were all just so good. I never had a negative experience and am so appreciative of the care I received,” she said.

Bennett was discharged Thursday evening and her recovery is expected to take six to eight weeks.

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