There are times when you simply act on instinct because there isn’t time to think it all the way through. That’s exactly the position Darrell Krushelnicki found himself in this past week when he saw a car speeding down the road toward four kids crossing the street.
He and a number of other vehicles were already stopped at the crosswalk to allow the kids to cross the street.
“I could just tell it was a bad scenario that was going to take place,” said Krushelnicki, who works in the oilpatch in northern BC “The driver did not see the crosswalk, the amber light flashing, nor the posted speed limit and he appeared to be on a hand-held device of some sort
Without a moment’s hesitation Darrel drove his Hummer into the intersection, placing himself in the path of the speeding vehicle and in front of the kids in the crosswalk. He probably saved their lives.
“I’m just glad the kids are okay and the only thing that needs repairs is some twisted metal,” he modestly told reporters.
John Troy Heitzman, 23, was driving the speeding vehicle and has since been charged with dangerous driving. He was [allegedly] focused on his cell phone and not the road when he slammed into Krushelnicki’s vehicle.
Krushelnicki is a little surprised by all the attention his act of heroism is receiving. He doesn’t see it as a big deal at all, as he was just doing the right thing.
Bizarrely the police are not that enthusiastic about Krushelnicki’s self-less act and while they haven’t panned it completely, they’ve made it pretty clear they think he shouldn’t have done it, which makes no sense at all.
“Obviously, it’s not something we want to see people do, but certainly his spontaneous actions may have saved the lives of four children. It’s a miracle he wasn’t hurt himself,” said Edmonton Police Services spokesperson Scott Pattison.
What??? Would they rather he sat and watched Heitzman mow down all those kids???
I don’t get it.
At least the kids whose lives were saved thought it was the right thing to do!
Janice Marett, one of the kids who says that Darrell Krushelnicki saved her life, made it very clear she owed her life to him.
“If it wasn’t for that guy, I’m pretty sure that I would be dead,” said Janice Marett.
In a statement that shows his insurance company understands what he did and why, Intact Insurance will not be holding Darrell Krushelnicki at fault for the accident.
“We appreciate that thanks to Darrell’s quick response, four children were unharmed last week while crossing a pedestrian crosswalk. Because of these actions, Darrell will not be charged with an at-fault accident and we will also waive his deductible.”
One commenter on the CBC news report says Darrell Krushelnicki should be awarded the Order of Canada for his selflessness and heroism.
So here’s a guy for the Order of Canada; he really did something and it is likely that 4 children are alive because of it. Better than most I see on that list.
Well done sir…you’re a hero.
I couldn’t agree more.
Peter Wilson says
It is clear to even the most obtuse among us that the ‘modern’police have lost the respect of the common man and have completely disconnected themselves from logic and decency.
The police would rather take pictures of the bodies four children than praise the quick thinking and sacrifice of a good citizen. Shocking! Correction….How pathetic.
that cop is a complete moron that shouldnt be allowed to fry fries at a mcdonalds !!
UNBELIEVABLE !! well it is certainly clear that the police department doesnt like to have a standard set for selfless heroism, as it is what all those bums take oaths to live out as civil servants, and yet rarely do, but to see them actually condemn someone who really lives out what the police oath is, when that person hasnt even pledged themselves to such an oath, is sickening.
however, it does show the lowlifes clad in polyester what it is that THEY are supposed to be doing.
myself, i think we need to close down all the enforcement wings of the police departments and only have minimal response teams and investigative teams. the rest are a useless waste of money and a danger to all of us… perhaps thats why in the united states constitution, “standing armies” are barred as “dangerous to liberty”… but apparently we have all forgotten that reality in north america !!
no matter, the rest of “us” will soon be reminded one way or the other.
I’m not usually impressed with any police force because they seem to mostly function in the quisling role of protecting their government masters and their paycheques rather than wanting to safeguard citizenry.
Since they are not legally obligated to come when you call, sometimes it’s no longer worth the effort to dial 911.
The victims of crime, as we read in Christopher di Armani’s recent column Ontario’s Crown Prosecutors Insist Upon Confusing Self-Defense with Assault
often get charged because the mandated police officer has nothing to lose by “erring on the side of caution” and letting the courts fling the accused wherever they want him flung.
Yet in this current incident, I am impressed with the Edmonton Police Services whose spokesman, as quoted in Sun Media, said that Darrell Krushelnicki will be recommended for a citizen’s award, which is a very commendable action indeed.
After hearing the witness testimonies–and who has ever heard of an insurance company paying out without increasing premiums much less offering to waive the deductible for a client who deliberately caused a collision?–no police officer would have dared issue so much as a $5 traffic fine.
He not only protected school students by driving into the path of a speeding car and pushing it aside, but also went to check on and settle the tykes and teen, then checked on the 23-year-old cellphone-yakking driver. (Nobody was injured, but it was reported that the police charged the speed demon with dangerous driving. Doesn’t Edmonton have a law on the books yet against mixing cellphones with driving?)
Mr. Krushelnicki certainly had his wits about him and everybody concerned appears appreciative.
So much as a reprimand would have probably sparked a riot of monumental proportions. Canadian citizens are still civilized and the mob wouldn’t have publicly lynched any police officer from the nearest light standard. But a crowd might very well have stormed the EPS Bastille or burned a couple of cops in effigy.
In my estimation, the police acted very appropriately on this occasion.
The police spokesman was right to verbalize the public reminder that what Mr. Krushelnicki did is “not something we want to see people do”.
What Mr. Krushelnicki did is not something the ordinary driver is capable of doing.
Rightfully, the police do not want to encourage such action. The only thing most people know about “stunt driving” is what they watch in the movies.
More to the point, most drivers shouldn’t even be on public roads. They don’t have the gumption or driving skills and would be in a peck of trouble if they tried to emulate Mr. Krushelnicki.
He displayed an innate instinct for paying attention to what is going on around him and recognized a pending disaster in the making. Coupled with his calmness and common sense, he put his rapid-fire thinking power, quick reflexes and driving skills into motion.
I would assume these are life-long character traits one must possess to survive unscathed in the oil patch.
Also, Mr. Krushelnicki happened to be behind the wheel of a fairly sturdy off-road vehicle. Police are right to caution other drivers, who have a liking for buying flimsy, decorated-coffin affairs, from intentionally (or unintentionally) tangling with a larger, speeding vehicle.
Police have scraped enough bodies off the highways to know that an average driver attempting to pull “a Steve McQueen stunt” would most likely result in an instant DOA.
With that said, I wish somebody would enlighten me as to why traffic engineers continually use yellow/amber-flashing lights in pedestrian crosswalks, anyway.
Even people who hold the Guinness Record as the world’s worst drivers learn from the minute they slide behind the wheel that traffic lights are coded with green for “go”, yellow for “slow” or “caution”, and red for “full stop”.
When yellow school buses are loading or unloading children, red STOP signs are displayed that mean all traffic from every direction must halt.
Where a highway is under construction, the warnings are designated with “yellow” flashing lights to indicate drivers have to slow down and proceed with caution while negotiating a specific section of road where heavy equipment is operating.
When the crews want traffic to “freeze”, a flagger holds up a big red sign that reads: STOP! When traffic can move again, the flagger flips the sign over to the yellow side that reads: PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
So, why are “yellow” (or “amber”) flashing lights the colour of choice in pedestrian crosswalks?
In my city, there is a downtown intersection where pedestrians push a button to activate the “walk” lights, which ostensibly alerts four lanes of traffic to come to a standstill.
Regardless, walkers take their lives in their hands when trying to cross because everybody isn’t always doing what they are supposed to at the same time.
Although I don’t recall any deaths at this particular flashing-light crosswalk, there have been a few serious injuries and dozens of close calls.
Most incidents I have witnessed where passenger vehicles and even semi-tractor trailer units slow down but sift on through without noticing a pedestrian are sporting out-of-territory license plates. They are not familiar with the city and obviously don’t know yellow flashing lights means they are expected to come to a full stop.
Of course, there’s always the local jerks who, inconvenienced by safety protocol, pull out of a line of stopped traffic and come speeding down the inside lane, in a hurry to get nowhere a half a second faster.
That’s how one of those decorated coffins was run over by a monster truck and dragged underneath for a full block (in front of the court house where the hotshot would be ‘tellin’ it to the judge’), all the way to the crosswalk before realizing something was wrong and stopped to check!
That’s the type of potential tragedy that Mr. Krushelnicki successfully averted in Edmonton.
Bless his heart.