Crash survivor has tearful phone reunion with Good Samaritan

A Regina college student wiped tears from her eyes Monday as she spoke with the man who saved her life.

Spoke with rescuer over the phone Monday

A Regina college student wiped tears from her eyes Monday as she spoke with the man who saved her life.

Heather Gilchrist's truck hit a ditch while she was driving from Moose Jaw during last Wednesday's snowstorm.

The crash was unavoidable. A semi-truck was jackknifed on the road in front of her and her truck fishtailed as she tried to avoid it.  

She hit hard and the heavy tools in the cab went flying toward her. The impact left her unconscious. When she woke up, it was dark, and she realized she was hurt and freezing, losing feeling in her fingers and toes.

But help had arrived.

"All I see is this man and he was coming towards the passenger side of the truck from the other side of the highway," she said. "I'm like, 'What's happening? Where am I?' and 'Oh, I'm warm now.'"

The man had covered her with his jacket. He dialed 911 and waited for the ambulance to arrive. He made sure she was OK. And then he disappeared.

Gilchrist was taken to hospital where she was treated for bruises and some hairline fractures.

The family put out a message on Facebook thanking the man and hoping he would come forward so they could thank him in person. Her father, in particular, expressed his eternal gratitude. The message was shared thousands of times.

On Monday, just after Gilchrist was interviewed by Morning Edition host Sheila Coles, her cellphone rang.

It was the man.

She thanked him for being the only one who stopped to help.

"Thank-you so much," Gilchrist told the man. She told CBC News that she would be grateful to him, for his actions, for the rest of her life.

"Without him I wouldn't be here," she said. "I'd be dead or I'd be missing limbs. I wouldn't be able to do my job."

Gilchrist said the man told her he was surprised no one had stopped to help her before he did.

She said she hoped to meet him in person the next time he's in Regina.

The man declined to be interviewed Monday and said he did not wish to be identified.


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