ALBERTA

QEII Highway Crash: Driver Says Person He Hit Saved His Life

03/26/2013 10:50 EDT | Updated 05/26/2013 05:12 EDT
Steffie_Lynnn via Twitter

EDMONTON -- One of the first drivers involved in a massive chain-reaction crash during a snowstorm on Alberta's main highway is crediting the person he hit with saving his life.

Last Thursday, truck driver Rob Patenaude was driving along Highway 2 near Wetaskiwin when he changed lanes to avoid a vehicle that had lost control, but a semi was stopped right in front of him.

Patenaude says he knew he was going to hit it and his left leg shattered, then a pickup slammed into him and broke his right leg.

He says the bone was sticking right out of his leg and the pain and bleeding were too much.

Patenaude says the driver he hit - a man named Tim - stayed with him for more than an hour until help came, putting pressure on his wound, slowing the bleeding and keeping him conscious.

He says that day continues to haunt him - the pileup involved around 100 vehicles.

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Storm Closes Major Alberta Highway, March 2013

"I hear and I still hear every crash that happened behind me, every single one, everyone's horns, everyone's yelling, screaming for help.''

Patenaude says without Tim's help, he would have died, leaving a wife and kids behind.

He said he's been in touch with Tim and he expects him to visit him in the University of Alberta hospital soon.

Patenaude also hopes to return to driving trucks as soon as he recovers, which doctors says could take up to six weeks.