A 21-year-old Winnipeg man who had a first date interrupted Tuesday night is grateful the driver he pulled from a burning vehicle is alive.
Tristan Gareau helped save a 65-year-old man who had crashed his vehicle into a condominium on Grant Avenue near Kenaston Boulevard Tuesday night.
Gareau was driving by when he noticed the crash. He could tell the situation was escalating and the man was in urgent need of help, so he sprung to action.
"He seemed to be in there for a long time because by the time I drove by the car was already smoking,” said Gareau, who guessed the driver had been unconscious in the car for five- to-10 minutes before he arrived. “I don't know how much longer he could have stayed in there."
Seconds after pulling the driver from the smouldering car, it burst into flames.
Gareau said police credited him for helping save the man's life.
“A couple [police] came up to me and said, ‘you did a great thing,’ and that they’re proud of me and that I did a great job,” said Gareau.
Gareau said his new girlfriend is also impressed with his heroics.
“I’ve never [encountered] something like that before on a first date,” said Gareau. “But trust me, the girl is probably pretty hooked on me, so if any of you guys want to get a girl hooked on you, that’s the way to do it, I guess.”
And while the rescue may have scored him points with his new girlfriend, Gareau said the rescue was a humbling experience.
“I’m just glad the guy is safe now and I’m glad to hear that he’s doing alright and that nobody else got injured or hurt,” said Gareau.
“I just hope that … somebody would do this for me if I was ever in that situation as well.”
The driver is now in hospital, being treated for his medical condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Damage to the property and vehicle are estimated at $95,000.