Red Deer man, 80, dies after pushing woman from path of vehicle along B.C. highway

Patrick Hare is shown in this undated family handout photo. The son of an Alberta man who died on Vancouver Island after being hit by an alleged impaired driver while helping a woman in distress says it was in his dad's nature to help others before "tragedy took him." . Courtesy, Ronald Hare

When Patrick Hare of Red Deer, Alta., visited a mall or a store he was the man who always held the door open for everybody, said his son Ron Hare.

“At times, you know, he could hardly walk at best, but he’s still there holding the door, making sure everybody gets in, and it’s just one thing he always did,” Ron Hare said. “You know, he’d always stop to help.”

Patrick Hare, 80, died last week, days after being injured on a highway outside Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.

Police say Hare had pulled over in the early morning hours of March 2 to help a woman whose car hit a pole.

Hare and the woman were standing near the damaged vehicle when it was hit by a suspected impaired driver, and police say Hare likely saved the woman’s life by pushing her out of the way.

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His son said in an interview on Tuesday that he saw his father’s cellphone log, showing he’d called 911 three times as he waited with the woman for help, a testament to his selfless nature, Ron Hare said.

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“That’s why he stopped along the highway. He just didn’t pass and keep driving on. He stopped to see what he could offer,” he said.

Hare and the woman were taken to hospital with serious injuries, but Hare died in a Victoria hospital.

Now, Ron Hare, his two brothers, their children and his father’s friends are mourning his death after “tragedy took him,” his son said.

Hare said his father had only been on Vancouver Island for a few hours when he stopped to help the woman, not far from a condo in Parksville where he spent a couple of months vacationing each year.

His dad loved popcorn and visiting farmers markets, eating briskets, reading books and watching the tides while on Vancouver Island, Ron Hare said.

Family life was also very important to his dad, who lost both his parents when he was just 21, he said.

Hare said the death has left his dad’s friends and family struggling with the loss, “his grandchildren, especially.”

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The loss feels “senseless,” he said, but his family wants to remember him as a dedicated family man whose last act was heroic.

“Even at the last second he’s still thinking of other people trying to push them out of the way and save them,” his son said. “She might have been fatally injured too, if he hadn’t done that. I’d certainly like to meet the lady someday.”

The crash is now under investigation by the BC Highway Patrol in Parksville, B.C.

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