The wreckage of Elijah John’s car after it hydroplaned and slid down and embankment Nov. 5 at Herrling Island. Submitted photo

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

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

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read