Shayne Hill only saw the deer in front of her headlights for a split second before the impact of the crash crumpled her car’s hood into the windshield and set off the airbags.
“I just quickly tried to get off the road so I didn’t hurt anyone. I pulled over and started crying because I just got this car maybe a week ago,” Hill recalled.
It was just before 10 p.m. on a dark stretch of Highway 2A between High River and Calgary in early December: not an ideal place to be stranded.
“I grabbed my phone, went to go call my boyfriend and I noticed I had one per cent battery left,” She added.
Hill managed to make one call to her boyfriend giving him a rough idea of where she was before the phone went dead and she was stuck in the dark.
Cars continued passing her for about 15 minutes before a man in a truck pulled up to help.
“He instantly was like, ‘You go get in my truck, it’s warm in there. I have a charger, charge your phone, make the phone calls that you need to, here’s my phone so you can call someone,'” Hill said.
“He scoped out my vehicle for me, made sure I was okay, he helped me call the police. He just was super helpful.”
The pieces slowly started to come together as they made small talk, waiting for Hill’s boyfriend and police to arrive.
The man introduced himself as Curtis. He was coming home from a hockey clinic in Lethbridge — an NHL alumni hockey clinic.
“I just kind of looked at him and I was like, ‘Curtis Glencross?’ That’s what it kind of dawned on me who I was sitting beside,” Hill said.
“He just laughed, and I totally had a fangirl moment. I was like, ‘Holy smokes. I’m sitting beside this guy who I watched on TV growing up!'”
For Glencross, there was no question about what to do when he saw what had happened.
“I saw the brake lights ahead of me and the girl hit the deer,” Glencross said, adding he passed the scene before finding a safe place to turn around and loop back to where she had parked.
“I pulled up and let her come in my truck warm up and charge her phone up and make the calls she needed to,” Glencross said.
“It just feels natural to me to stop and help if someone’s in need.”
Hill was so star-struck, she forgot to ask for any proof that one of her NHL heroes bailed her out in her hour of need. But it turned out, she wouldn’t need to wait long to get it.
By pure coincidence, the pair ran into each other a week later at a minor hockey game in Airdrie. This time, Hill was sure to get a picture and thank Glencross once again.
While the vehicle is a write-off, Hill is thankful someone was there to step up and help.
“I think it just kind of took a whole moment that was really negative and a bummer and it just made it into a really cool story.
“Who gets to sit beside Curtis Glencross and say he saved me after I hit a deer? It was really surreal.”