WATCH: Twenty-three-year-old Tia Anderson was westbound near the top of the Port Alberni hump when an eastbound pickup truck crossed the centre line right in front of her.
The last thing 23-year-old Tia Anderson remembers before her Jeep collided head-on with a pickup truck at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning was the truck in her lane.
“It’s kind of like in the movies, you see that last light,” Anderson said.
“And next thing you know I was in the ditch, I was freaking out, I felt like suffocating,” she said.
Anderson was winded from the airbag going off and had to crawl out the passenger door because hers was jammed shut. She then realized the other driver’s life was in immediate danger.
“And I can see his car start to go up in sparks. Another man ran up and said we need to get him out now,” said Anderson.
As flames licked up the outside of the pickup truck, Anderson said she was inside trying to free the man’s foot from under the dashboard. Two men on the outside were trying to pull him out the window because the door was stuck.
“It was now getting hotter and hotter,” said Anderson. “I ended up putting my arm under his leg and we pulled him up and over and he kind of rolled out. Right as he’s about halfway out the window the car went up in a big whoosh you now when you hear it’s about to go. Probably had about 15 seconds left.”
Anderson incident the whole rescue lasted about a minute before the man was pulled to safety. Her hands were blistered from the heat and she was taken to hospital for treatment. The man was flown to Victoria with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Anderson says the road was icy when she got out of the Jeep and figures that’s what led to the crash, adding she doesn’t blame the other driver.