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Edmonton man recovering after surviving crash that killed 4 others near Taber

Edmonton man recovering after surviving crash that killed 4 others
WATCH ABOVE: After more than six weeks in hospital, one of the survivors of a deadly southern Alberta car crash is speaking for the first time about coming home to his family and the long road to recovery. Sarah Ryan has his story.

After more than six weeks in hospital, one of the survivors of a deadly Alberta car crash is speaking for the first time about coming home to his family and the long road to recovery.

Dorian Gladue was heading to work in a passenger van with eight of his colleagues on Jan. 10. They were working on a solar panel farm northeast of Taber, Alta.

READ MORE: Wife of man injured in Taber-area crash that killed 4 ‘grateful my kids still have their dad’

As they travelled down Highway 36, their van collided head-on with a truck. Four people were killed and Gladue was critically injured.

Video shows air ambulances on highway at site of fatal crash near Taber, Alta.
Video shows air ambulances on highway at site of fatal crash near Taber, Alta.

“I was sitting in the very back, on the driver’s side,” he said, “and that whole side of the van got ripped open and I got thrown from the van. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt.”

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The 23-year-old was flown to hospital in Lethbridge first, and then on to Calgary, with a lengthy list of injuries.

Crash survivor Dorian Gladue recovers in Calgary hospital Jan. 13, 2020.
Crash survivor Dorian Gladue recovers in Calgary hospital Jan. 13, 2020. Supplied: Global News
“I broke both my femur bones, I broke my pelvis in four different places. I broke my shoulder blade, my collarbone [and] my neck in two places.”

The father of three doesn’t remember the crash. But he does recall waking up in the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, surrounded by concerned family members.

“I was more scared for my kids, you know what I mean? That was my biggest worry,” Gladue said.

Dorian Gladue is now recovering at home with his family after surviving a deadly car crash.
Dorian Gladue is now recovering at home with his family after surviving a deadly car crash. Sarah Ryan / Global News

He underwent numerous surgeries that had to be done in waves because doctors feared he wouldn’t survive. A month and a half later, Gladue was finally able to go home.

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“It’s nice to be back at home and be able to wake up with my kids and stuff like that,” he said.

“I’m very lucky.”

While his physical injuries are healing with time, his mental anguish is harder to overcome.

“Knowing what happened in the accident itself, that’s probably one of the hardest parts… I guess they call it survivor’s guilt,” Gladue explained.

READ MORE: ‘It was horrible’: 4 people killed, 6 injured in southern Alberta highway crash

He said he’s scared to be on the road, even with his wife driving.

“I had anxiety about it before even getting in the vehicle. Just thinking about it. My heart would race and I’d get really sweaty and stuff.”

The crash has brought him closer to one of his co-workers, who ended up underneath the bus in the crash. Gladue said he suffered a brain injury.

“I’m just super happy that I made it and my friends made it. My heart goes out to the families of the people who didn’t make it. It was a tragic accident.”

‘I’m just grateful that my kids still have their dad’: Survivors of Taber area crash that killed 4 recover in Calgary hospital
‘I’m just grateful that my kids still have their dad’: Survivors of Taber area crash that killed 4 recover in Calgary hospital

The Gladues set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise money to help with the financial burden resulting from the crash.

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