British Columbia

This cyclist was found unconscious on a B.C. highway 9 years ago. Now she wants to know who saved her

Danielle Baker-Davidson is looking for three Good Samaritans who rescued her when she crashed her bike at high speed on the Coquihalla Highway on July 22, 2011.

Danielle Baker-Davidson is looking for 3 Good Samaritans who rescued her after a high-speed bike crash

On July 22, 2011, Danielle Baker-Davidson crashed her bike on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt, B.C. Now she is trying to find an unidentified man and woman she says pulled her unconscious body off the road, along with a plainclothes police officer who also came to her rescue. (Facebook/Danielle Baker Davidson)

The last thought Danielle Baker-Davidson had as she flew off her bike while careening downhill on B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway was how badly her crash was going to suck. 

Turns out, it was really bad.

Baker-Davidson broke her collarbone and a rib, and suffered a brain bleed and severe road rash in the crash nine years ago.

But without the help of three kind strangers, it could have been even worse. She is now trying to find the three Good Samaritans who she says saved her life by pulling her unconscious body off the roadway and helping her after the accident.

On July 22, 2011, Baker-Davidson was on the Coquihalla section of Highway 5, on the second day of a cycling trip from North Vancouver, B.C., to Canmore, Alta.

Late afternoon was fading into early evening and Baker-Davidson was excited to be almost at the exit to Merritt to bunk for the night. She was heading downhill, picking up speed, when part of her back rack got caught up in her wheel. She lost control and wiped out.

Everything after that, she says, was a blur.

Danielle Baker-Davidson says when she fell off her bike her head hit the highway and she skidded up to three metres. She says if she had not been wearing her helmet, she would likely not have survived. (Facebook/Danielle Baker-Davidson)

The crash knocked her out. She woke up wrapped in a blanket on the side of the highway with a man, a woman and a male plainclothes police officer in an unmarked SUV attending to her. 

She said she skidded up to three metres away from her bike along the road. She credits the unidentified man and woman for pulling her off the highway and out of harm's way.

"Their quick action and their willingness to put themselves in the middle of a downhill blind corner on the Coquihalla saved my life," said Baker-Davidson on CBC's Daybreak South on Wednesday.

Baker-Davidson said the pair told her they saw her bike first, and then found her further down the road lying in the right lane.

"They jumped into action and pulled my unconscious body off the highway before a transport truck came," said Baker-Davidson.

Danielle Baker-Davidson has shared this image of herself during her recovery on social media in an attempt to find the trio she credits with saving her life in the summer of 2011. (Facebook/Danielle Baker Davidson)

So far, the only person who helped her that day that Baker-Davidson has been able to track down is the paramedic who took her to the closest hospital. She is hoping by sharing her story she can find, and thank, the trio who made it possible for her to get medical help in the first place.

But why now?

Last year was a banner year for Baker-Davidson, she says. She celebrated her 40th birthday and got married to the love of her life, and now she wants to track down and thank the people she says enabled her to have the community, career and family she has today.

"I have so much gratitude for everything I have in my life … and none of this would be possible if these people hadn't been brave enough and quick thinking enough to stop their car and get me off the highway," she said.

Danielle Baker-Davidson and her husband, Stuart Davidson, on their wedding day on Sept. 1, 2019 at Caverhill Lodge near Barriere, B.C. (Ashley Drody)

Baker-Davidson posted on social media on the anniversary of the crash and says the post has been shared almost 6,000 times so far — but still no luck.

She said she reached out to the RCMP to try to locate the officer who helped her, but so far that has been a dead end.

According to Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a senior media relations officer with the RCMP, there is no record of the accident on file, which she said in a statement is not unusual as many single bike accidents are not reported if no vehicle was involved.

Shoihet says she has shared Baker-Davidson's post internally with the hope of helping her find one of her heroes.

"We are hopeful she is able to identify the Good Samaritans who stopped to assist her that day … I can imagine it will be a pretty awesome reunion," said Shoihet.

If you moved a bike crash victim off the Coquihalla Highway close to the nearest exit to Merritt on July 22, 2011, or you know who did, please email daybreakkelowna@cbc.ca.

With files from Daybreak South, The Early Edition

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