Driver of car pushed half a kilometre onto Toronto highway recalls 'terrifying' ordeal

A 26-year-old registered nurse in Toronto was 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 continued to push her toward a busy highway.

'I am just extremely grateful that it ended the way it did and I was able to walk away,' she told CBC News

A screenshot of a video originally posted to TikTok shows a dump truck pushing a Mini Cooper up the on-ramp of the Gardiner Expressway Tuesday. Courtenay Erhardt, the driver of the car, spoke to CBC News about the experience, which she called a 'terrifying' ordeal. (Scott Matthews/Twitter )

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:

Driver recounts moment when her car was pushed over 500 metres by a dump truck onto the Gardiner

1 year ago
Duration 1:26
The driver of a Mini Cooper recounts the terrifying moment when a dump truck pushed her car for over half a kilometre onto the Gardiner Expressway on Tuesday morning. Toronto police say the driver of the truck has been charged.

" '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.

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.

Photos of the Mini Cooper posted to Instagram following the incident show damage to the car. (@courtenayerhardt/Instagram)

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


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