VANCOUVER – Stephanie Saxton and her boyfriend Buddy Harwood were on their way up to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway on Saturday morning when they saw a cloud of dust coming from the side of the road.
Saxton and Harwood immediately stopped and jumped out of their car to help.
“We were the first on scene,” says Saxton.
Another motorist named Mike Devine had also stopped to help. “It was about three to four minutes later that other people showed up to help,” says Saxton. “When it’s a burning car it’s quite a long time.”
Saxton called 9-1-1 and the dispatch operator told them to stay away from the car, however, the trio saw a young boy banging on the window and screaming from inside.They ran towards the burning car and got the people out.
“We ended up getting every one out of the car before police, ambulance and the fire department showed up,” says Saxton.
Harwood is a volunteer firefighter from New Zealand so his training helped guide them what to do. First, he grabbed a rock to smash a window and pulled the youngest boy of the car.
Another man who had stopped to help had a fire extinguisher and sprayed the car, buying the rescuers a few minutes of time. Another man who had showed up tossed Harwood a knife, which he used to cut the seatbelt off the driver and pull him to safety. They were able to pull out another man and just as the car became completely engulfed, Harwood was able to reach in and grab the second child, pass him to another rescuer, and then pull the woman out of the back seat.
Just as they reached the top of the embankment, the car burst into flames.
“This is not the first time we’ve come across something like this,” says Saxton, who praised everyone who stopped to help, putting their own lives in danger.
“It was crazy because when we got there we didn’t know when the car was going to blow up,” she added, “it was in flames already.”
Saxton says she is really proud of everyone who worked as a team to save this family. Sadly the older man in the car succumbed to his injuries.
Police said they are unclear at this time as to what caused the crash, but it is under investigation.
GALLERY: Photos courtesy of Stephanie Saxton:
© Shaw Media, 2014