NEWS

Winnipeg woman severely burned, in coma after fiery Hwy 1 crash

07/01/2015 08:27 EDT | Updated 07/01/2016 05:59 EDT
A Manitoba family is pleading with motorists to slow down and be careful on the road after a fiery crash on the Trans-Canada Highway left a 41-year-old woman in a medically induced coma with severe burns.

Angela Strike was following her husband on a road trip to West Hawk Lake on Friday when they approached a construction zone.

"They were on their way for their camping trip," said Angela's sister Shannon Croft. "[They] were almost at a dead stop."

Strike was waiting in her vehicle behind her husband Jon's when suddenly a truck smashed into the back of her car.

The force of the crash sent her car into the back of her husband's SUV, with two of their young children inside.

His car hit another in front of it, and the family's two vehicles burst into flames.

"Jon managed to get the kids out of one door that he could get open. He got Ryan out who helped his sister out, who was tangled in a seatbelt," said Croft. "They managed to get out through a flash-fire that was underneath the car."

Then, Jon headed to his wife's car, which was engulfed in flames.

"She was trapped in the car on fire and an individual got a tow rope and threw it in, and Angie was able to grab it, and they got her out," said Croft. "They put her on a piece of board, and they hauled her down into a ditch of water to put out the fire."

Angela was rushed to Ste. Anne Hospital in critical condition and later air lifted to Winnipeg.

Croft and her mom got the call at the cabin and had to drive past the crash scene to get to Angela. She said she held her breath as she drove by.

Multiple skin grafts ahead

Angela was left with severe burns from her face to her knees.

The 41-year-old nurse and mother of three has been in a medically induced coma since the accident. She'll need skin grafts for most of the burns.

"The worst of her injuries are her face and her hands. I'm assuming she must have had her hands up trying to protect her face. She has burns all the way down her body," said Croft. "She has been medically induced into a coma so she wouldn't be suffering from pain."

In the same hospital, her husband Jon is recovering from severe burns to his hands – burns he suffered trying to rescue his wife.

"He's, you know, emotionally struggling, but he's feeling better because the doctors are looking very optimistically at Angie's recovery. They said that she's really strong," said Croft, who said the family is taking it hour by hour.

Angela will have to get skin graft, and has already underwent some to her abdomen, Croft said.

Her children haven't been able to visit their mom yet and are staying with their grandmother.

"They have lots of questions about cars when they go in cars now," she said.

So far, RCMP have not laid any charges in the crash.

"It's just pending on a large investigation," said Croft. "I don't want to seem bitter, but we have these laws and rules and safe driving is very important because this happens. I mean, this is one of the worst injuries that I can imagine happening to somebody."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family to cover lost wages while they are off work.

Jon is a mechanic, but with his severely burned hands, it's not known when he'll be able to leave the hospital or return to work. 

"I know that the message that Angie would want out there is just to please pay attention driving, And that's what she would want people to acknowledge — even if one person takes it from this and thinks about it when they're driving to slow down or keep their eyes on the road or don't text," she said.

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