Two Edmonton teens are thanking a man who they say saved their lives when he put his vehicle between them and an alleged distracted driver at an intersection last week.
"If it wasn't for that guy, I'm pretty sure that I would be dead," said Janice Marett.
Marett, 15, was crossing the street at a crosswalk just outside the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre with her friend, Chase Feduik, as well as her boyfriend and Feduik’s young cousin.
The four started to cross after traffic stopped for them. They didn't notice that a silver Pontiac, whose driver police say was using a cellphone, wasn't stopping.
Darrell Krushelnicki, who was getting ready to pull out of the mall parking lot, did see the car. He drove his Hummer forward, deliberately smashing it into the Pontiac.
The teens say both vehicles stopped feet away from them.
"We didn't even know it was happening and we heard a big smash, and there was a Black hummer with a grey car … you could hear the debris from the Hummer," Feduik said.
The four ran onto the sidewalk and escaped uninjured. Marett says it took a while before the shock of the situation wore off.
"It was shocking. It's kind of hard to explain how to feel, because it felt like you were already dead. When you come back and realize that you're still alive, it's amazing," she said.
Teen calls driver 'a true hero'
Neither of the drivers were injured. Police have charged a 23-year-old man with dangerous driving.
Krushelnicki was humble about his role in preventing the accident, but Marett calls him "a true hero."
"He could have died if it hit the wrong way. He risked his life for four kids he didn't even know. It's amazing."
On Thursday, Krushelnicki said his vehicle is now in the body shop and he's not sure if it will be salvageable. In a statement emailed to CBC News, his insurance company said it would not be holding Krushelnicki liable for the crash.
"We appreciate that thanks to Darrell's quick response, four children were unharmed last week while crossing a pedestrian crosswalk. Because of these actions, Darrell will not be charged with an at-fault accident and we will also waive his deductible," a spokesperson for Intact Insurance wrote.