Brian Ng says he feels very lucky after escaping injury or worse, death, after a crash on Highway 427 involving a suspected drunk driver last month.
As the 40-year Toronto man was driving home from work in Vaughan along the southbound lanes of the highway on Nov. 14, Ng’s 2012 Nissan Rogue was sideswiped by a car he did not see coming from behind.
“Just out of nowhere, the driver hit me. His car flipped,” he told Global News.
“I consider myself extremely lucky. I missed the median maybe by a foot. Half a second, here or there, would have made a huge difference in terms of the outcome of it. It was pretty crazy, right?”
Ng shared the harrowing dash-cam video with Global News, which appeared to show the terrifying moments before, during and after the collision.
In the video, Ng could be seen travelling down a dry stretch of highway when a car suddenly strikes him on the driver’s side of the car. He can be heard yelling out a grunt before the other car went airborne and rolled over, causing sparks to fly as it skid down the highway on its roof. Ng managed to navigate his car onto an off-ramp and safely came to a stop.
Ng said at the time of the crash, he was in shock and concerned for the driver of the other car. But about 10 minutes later, as he stood on the side of the highway speaking to an officer from Peel Regional Police who happened to pull over to help, Ng said he noticed the other driver standing and talking to another officer.
“I knew he was OK enough to get out of the car. I did see him get a breathalyzer and cuffed afterwards and so I made an assumption he was impaired. The tow truck driver also mentioned that this guy was (allegedly) impaired.”
Ng later watched the dash-cam video from his car and said he realized how lucky he was.
“I think I ran that video at least a hundred times. It runs in my head quite often just because of the circumstances and what could have happened,” he said.
“To me, what really angers me is that if the situation was different. What does it do to my family?”
Ng, a married father with a four-year-old girl, said the collision has made him think about life and death.
“I never really thought about it. If I was taken away from my daughter, my wif… Having a suspected impaired driver hit you really puts things in perspective because it’s irresponsible and this day and age,” he said.
“It’s so easy for someone to get into a Lyft, Uber or cab — it hits home. You hear about it on the news a lot, about drunk drivers a lot, but until you’re involved in something like this it really has an impact.”
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the other driver, a 55-year-old man from Toronto, was arrested at the scene and taken to a local division. He was later charged with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, careless driving, and driving without a license.
“If convicted, that driver could face jail time,” said Schmidt, adding that both Ng’s Nissan Rogue and the other driver’s 2003 Ford Taurus were demolished.
Impaired driving continues to be a major concern for police services across the country, especially with people attending holiday parties at this time of year.
Schmidt said that OPP laid 16 impaired driving charges in the Greater Toronto area alone between Friday morning and Saturday morning, despite the fact drivers are warned that officers will be out in full force and looking for impaired drivers.
Meanwhile, Ng said he hopes his dash-cam video serves as a warning to every driver.
“Especially during the holidays, everybody has a drink. But if you do have a drink, why get behind the wheel? There’s obviously consequences,” he said.
“I was lucky. I was fortunate to walk away unharmed, but in most scenarios it’s not the case. You always hear stories about people losing loved ones to impaired drivers. That shouldn’t happen anymore.”
Ng said he felt a responsibility to share the video and his message this holiday season.
“I think this Christmas is going to be a little bit more special because when I run it through my head, maybe there was a possibility I wasn’t going to be here to enjoy that with (my daughter),” he said.
“I don’t know if we’re too lenient on drunk drivers or as a society we should say something to stop it.”