A Nova Scotia man who helped rescue people from a fiery head-on crash that claimed the life of a woman says he felt compelled to help.
Robert Mayhew, 37, was driving home with his wife and two children to Amherst, N.S., on Tuesday afternoon, when they came across the collision on Highway 102 near the exit to Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
RCMP say a Toyota Corolla travelling northbound had crossed the centre median and hit a Toyota Rav4 head-on.
Mayhew says he jumped out of his vehicle and immediately ran to the Rav4.
“I looked over and saw there was a lot of smoke and I just jumped out of the van and I ran across the big ditch there and went over to it and tried to get them out right away,” he said.
“Me and the other guy there, he was cranking on the door. We didn’t know if it was going to explode. There was a lot of gas and flames and stuff.”
Mayhew says he had to smash the car’s window to get the driver and her passenger out. Police later confirmed the 50-year-old driver and 20-year-old passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
At that point, Mayhew says he went to check the other vehicle. Bystanders were pulling out a four-year-old boy and the driver, a 37-year-old man from Colchester County.
The passenger in that vehicle, a 34-year-old woman from Colchester County, would later be pronounced dead at the scene.
“There was a couple people there that were just kind of frozen and I just kept saying, ‘Please don’t let that be me’ and I just kept going and going and helped the best I could,” Mayhew said.
“I wanted to help people because I just thought if it was my family and me, I’d want people to help me.”
The section of Highway 102 southbound was closed for eight hours while an RCMP collision analyst examined the scene. RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson says investigators are considering various factors that could have contributed to the accident, including weather conditions and mechanical issues.
“Both vehicles have been taken in for a mechanical inspection and that can take some time for that to be completed,” he said.
“We’re also interviewing potential witnesses and people who may have been involved in the collision or may have been passing by when it took place.”
Hutchinson is asking anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the vehicles prior to the collision to contact RCMP.
— With files from Morganne Campbell