Nfld. & Labrador

Pittsburgh Penguins treat fan to new hockey gear after stunning crash

"This can't be real," Dwan Street remembers thinking after getting a call from the Pens.

'This can't be real,' Dwan Street remembers thinking of getting a call from the Pens

Dwan Street has been a Pittsburgh Penguins fan her entire life, and says it 'means a lot' to have her beloved team reach out to help replace her hockey equipment, lost in a crash. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

It's been a life-long love affair for Pittsburgh Penguins superfan Dwan Street, and it's a love that's deepened after the team contacted her after a horrible crash last week.

"Good to be here, on this side of the sod," said Street, about surviving a collision with a tractor-trailer on the Southern Shore highway on Feb. 24.

Street, who was on her way to an out-of-town hockey tournament with her senior women's team, said she has "no idea" what happened.

"What I remember is, driving along, and then I remember an impact. And it's one of those things where you always hear people say that things can change pretty quickly, and yeah, it kind of did," she told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"It was pretty instantaneous, and the next thing I knew I was being put in an ambulance and taken to the Health Sciences."

The SUV she was driving was a "total loss," Street said, adding the RCMP have told her the driver of the truck is OK.

Dwan Street's SUV was totalled in the crash with a tractor-trailer. (Dwan Street/Twitter)

"I look at the pictures and it makes no sense to me how I was standing on the side of the road when the paramedics got there, to be quite honest."

I see the 412 area code and I'm like, OK, this can't be real, this is not happening.- Dwan Street

Street suffered a collapsed lung and injured her hand punching her window, while two men stopped to help kick the glass and get her out of the vehicle.

The hand is not broken, but has some tendon damage.

From her hospital bed in St. John's, Street tweeted photos of the crash, including one of her SUV completely totalled — with her beloved hockey gear inside.

No, it's not a parody account

While waiting for insurance adjusters to assess the vehicle, Street wasn't able to get her gear out. It ended up water damaged, moldy and otherwise rotten and unusable.

One of her friends, Nikki, decided to tweet to Street's favourite NHL team, the Penguins, lamenting the loss of her friend's hockey gear.

Street thanked her friend for the gesture, but didn't expect anything from it, until she was sitting in a car dealership Thursday to pick up her new vehicle.

"I get this message on Twitter and it's from the Penguins. I look and I'm expecting it to be a parody account of course, but no, it was the official Penguins account and says, hey, can we have your phone number?"

Street laughed, adding that "of course" they could have it.

"Two minutes later my phone rings and it says Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I see the 412 area code and I'm like, OK, this can't be real, this is not happening."

On the phone was the Penguins' social media manager, who said they followed her story on Twitter and wanted to replace her hockey gear.

"I was like, wow … it's times like this you actually see that, for a team in Pittsburgh to reach out to some random hockey fan on Twitter and to make a gesture like that, it just shows what kind of a classy organization they are," Street said.

"I sent all my sizes in and [am] waiting to hear back now, so it's pretty cool."

Street, 37, said she's been a Pens fan since she was six years old.

"I was saying that the 1993 goal by David Volek from the Islanders was my first heartbreak. That's when you really feel pain, when your dynasty ends and you're 11 years old and watching that happen," she said.

"But you know, hockey's such a huge, huge part of my life and always has been, and the Penguins especially. It's one of those things that you never really expect."

Street's never been to a Penguins game, either, and after this experience, thinks it's probably time she make the trip. 

"I think it's time. I think it's time to finally take that vacation."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Discover more highlights from the St. John's Morning Show

With files from the St. John's Morning Show


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.