Driver of car pushed half a kilometre onto Toronto highway recalls 'terrifying' ordeal
'I am just extremely grateful that it ended the way it did and I was able to walk away,' she told CBC News
As she made her way up the on-ramp onto one of Toronto's busiest highways, Courtenay Erhardt knew her car had been hit by a truck. What she didn't expect was to keep moving for more than half a kilometre.
The 26-year-old registered nurse had been on her way to a city shelter to help administer COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday morning when a dump truck hit her Mini Cooper from behind.
"And then he just kept going," Erhardt told CBC News. Her car ended up sideways with the truck's engine against her driver's-side window before being pushed up the ramp for what police estimated to be more than 500 metres before it finally stopped.
"It was terrifying. I can just remember screaming and crying and thinking, 'OK, I'm going to die,' " Erhardt recalled.
WATCH | Driver recounts how her car was pushed by a truck onto a Toronto highway:
" 'Either my car is going to start flipping or he's going to run over me or I'm going to spin out ... and get hit by oncoming traffic.'
"It felt like forever."
On Wednesday, Toronto Police posted video showing the big, red truck pushing the Mini Cooper up an on-ramp and onto the Gardiner Expressway.
The video, apparently captured from a condo above the downtown highway, had originally been posted to video-sharing site TikTok.
Dump truck driver charged
Police say they've charged the driver of the dump truck with several driving and commercial motor vehicle offences.
Const. Scott Matthews said the driver of the Mini Cooper was lucky to escape with only minor injuries.
The driver of this Mini was lucky to escape with minor injuries after being pushed for over half a kilometre up an on-ramp and onto the Gardiner Expressway yesterday. The dump truck driver was charged.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/beaware?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#beaware</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/drivesafe?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#drivesafe</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZNuZSUgiTB">pic.twitter.com/ZNuZSUgiTB</a>—@TPSTrafficDC
Those injuries, Erhardt said, include neck pain, dizziness, headaches and overall body aches.
She said that's nothing compared to what could have happened if not for a pair of Good Samaritans, a couple who drove up from behind the truck and managed to stop it.
"I was just crying, hoping he would stop, and that somebody would see me and stop the truck," Erhardt said.
It was not clear how the couple managed to stop the truck.
Once she was stopped, Erhardt said she was frozen, unable to get out of the car. The couple that stopped the truck ran over to her, managed to get her out through her passenger door and remained with her until police arrived.
Police said Erhardt was assessed at the scene by paramedics but not transferred to hospital.
"I am just extremely grateful that it ended the way it did and that I was able to walk away," she said. "It's truly a miracle."
With files from Taylor Simmons