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

Liam’s Lowdown: it’s the little things that get you

At first, the name of my column was going to be Liam’s Lament

Despite brief shut downs Revelstoke’s Downie Timber weathering the storm

The forestry industry is taking a hit across the province

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Two musical acts playing The Last Drop on Aug. 24

See John Michael Lind and She Hangs Brightly

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Most Read