Revelstoke youth Shayne Grimmer has returned home to recover after a five-day stay in hospital in Kamloops following a serious car wreck on Highway 23 North on the evening of July 10.
Grimmer, 17, was thrown from the window of a 1998 Honda Civic that he was a passenger in after it spun out and crashed while passing another car on the highway.
Grimmer suffered a broken ankle, dislocated shoulder, three broken ribs, a bruised lung and a serious head laceration in the crash.
In a July 17 interview, Grimmer said he was relieved to be home. “Now that I’m home, I’m much, much better,” he said. Doctors have told him he’ll make a full recovery, but the avid golfer’s summer tournament schedule has been scrubbed, and his ski season is questionable.
After our initial enquiry, he contacted the Times Review to talk about the incident, saying himself and three of his friends involved were battling public perception that they were being “hooligans” out on the highway that evening.
One issue was the number of people involved. Based on the information provided by the RCMP the morning after the crash, our story said there were two “carloads” of friends involved. The story also said the exact number of people involved was unknown. At the time, the Revelstoke RCMP detachment’s commanding officer Staff Sgt. Jacquie Olsen provided the information. At the time, she explained she didn’t know the exact numbers of people involved as the investigators who were on scene were not on shift because they had been working late at the crash the night before.
In fact, there were two cars with two people in each, all of them friends. New drivers are restricted to one passenger in each vehicle. Grimmer admits plainly that they were speeding, estimating they were travelling at around 120 km/h when the driver lost control.
Grimmer credits the driver of the car he was in with preventing it from going off an adjacent cliff. “Really, without him, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. He adds his friends assisted with first aid and helped stop the profuse bleeding from his head wound. Grimmer said doctors told him he lost about a third of his blood following the incident.
“It’s hard to comprehend, but I am really thankful for it,” Grimmer said of his friends’ help following the wreck.
In a small town where Facebook competes with old-fashioned gossip, all compounded by anonymous online commenting, Grimmer felt the story led to an unfair perception of their actions that night. Although the story didn’t provide names or ages of those involved, Grimmer and his friends felt they were being scrutinized as they walked the street. The debate at www.revelstoketimesreview.com propelled to the most read story online at www.bclocalnews.com, a network that includes stories from about 80 newspapers in B.C.
“I know that’s not sort of what comes out of your story,” Grimmer said, “but that’s sort of the idea that came out in some of the comments that other people posted.
“I know there’s some people that thought we were going 140 [or] 150,” he said.
He hopes he can make a positive out of the incident. One plan is to see about going to elementary schools and delivering public safety message to young students. They would pass on the message that “even if you follow the rules and you’re trying to be safe, bad things can still happen,” he said. Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Rod Wiebe provided an update on the story on July 14. The RCMP account has not changed from the original version provided. RCMP did confirm there were two people in each vehicle – a number that was not known at the time of the first story.
In a written statement, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Rod Wiebe said the driver has been charged with “driving without reasonable consideration,” an offence that comes with a $196 fine.
“The Trans-Canada East Traffic Services continues to investigate the matter which includes determination of seat belt usage,” Wiebe wrote in an email. “Speed and driver inexperience were factors in the collision.”