The Monday night commute home ended in chaos for two Albertan co-workers, both involved in the same hit-and-run on Highway 37.
"You don't leave people behind, doesn't matter if it's your fault or not," said Amy Pederson, whose SUV was mangled in the crash. "You have to help people no matter what."
According to Pederson, it all started when she was driving home from her job at Academy Fabricators around 5 p.m. A dark pickup truck careened into the back of a car. The car crumpled under the impact, lost control, crashed into her SUV and veered off the road.
"I saw a bunch of debris flying all over the road from the car and then the car itself flew from our road to the opposite road, to the ditch," said Pederson.
Pederson said she and the driver of the pickup crossed the road to check on the driver in the ditch, who was trying to get out of his car. Pederson said she didn't realize it until the shock wore off that it was Justin Prior, one of her co-workers, who had been rear-ended.
While Pederson called 911, she said the man from the pickup returned to his truck.
"Next thing I know, people are saying, 'Where's the pickup truck?' " she said.
"The first thing that came to my mind was, 'How can he do that? What if the person down in the ditch was really hurt? Why would you leave someone like that?' It wasn't right."
Prior was able to climb out of his car but had to go to the hospital with whiplash.
"I remember getting hit, getting thrown around . . . My head came off the steering wheel and then I felt myself go down and I ended up in a ditch," he said.
Prior said he doesn't have collision coverage on his insurance, and he likely won't be able to work again until next month.
"I'm trying to figure out what I need to do next," he said. "But I don't want to flood my brain with that stuff just yet."
Dave Dudzic, who works with Pederson and Prior, drove by the crash site shortly after the pickup driver fled the scene. He stopped to help, not realizing two of his colleagues were involved.
Dudzik said he found part of a headlight with a GMC logo in the debris from the crash. He said he also didn't see any skid marks on the road.
"Was he texting? Was he drunk? Who knows. But fleeing the scene? He should be charged," Dudzik said. "That's immoral and even if you made a mistake you should be down on your hands and knees trying to help people out so they don't suffer needlessly."