Survivors of a rollover crash in Langley that sent their vehicle down a 10-foot ditch want to thank the many people who came to their aid.
Abbotsford resident Shara Hazelwood said she and her best friend Laryssa, also from Abbotsford, (who asked that her last name not be published) and Laryssa’s 14-year old daughter, are “banged up” but glad to be alive after a Saturday, June 19, collision with an oncoming vehicle that crossed the centre line into their direction of travel.
“It all happened so fast,” said Laryssa.
“It was crazy.”
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Police close off 16th Avenue
A Langley RCMP report said at 7:22 p.m. in the 23600-block of 16th Ave., a black GMC Terrain with one person at the wheel travelled westbound into the oncoming lane and hit a red GMC Acadia with three occupants.
“Straight at me,” said Laryssa.
“We’re lucky we’re all alive.”
Laryssa was able to avoid a head-on crash, but the impact was still enough to flip both vehicles.
Shara said the Acadia rolled three times and came to rest on its side, at the bottom of a 10-foot ditch.
The Terrain also ended up on its roof.
Laryssa said after the initial impact, the rollover felt like it was happening in “slow-mo” as time seemed to slow down.
Her daughter, who’d been napping in a back seat with her seatbelt on, had a rude awakening.
All three occupants ended up dangling from their seatbelts, but after a struggle, they were able to get a door open.
The first Good Samaritan on the scene turned out to be an off-duty paramedic.
Shara and Laryssa estimate at least 15 people stopped, with some helping them get out of their vehicle, while the driver of a semi truck blocked off traffic until police and fire crews could arrive.
“The look on their faces was sheer shock, that people were alive,” Shara recalled.
Fire crews needed two ladders to get them out of the ditch.
They did not escape unscathed. All three suffered bruises, Shara has internal injuries, and Laryssa’s daughter went in for x-rays to determine the extent of her injuries on Monday.
But they want the people who came to their aid to know how much their efforts were appreciated.
“We are so grateful,” Shara said.
“It was so amazing,” said Laryssa.
They were returning home to Abbotsford after travelling to Softball City in Surrey to see Shara play her first game in more than a year.
Shara said it may be a while before she gets another game in, because one knee “is pretty messed up.”
Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Langley for several hours.
Officers ticketed the driver of the Terrain, a 32-year-old Langley man, for driving without due care and attention and crossing the centre line.
As well, his licence was suspended for 24 hours.
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