‘I still hear the noise’: Bay Street crash victim recalls moment of impact as community steps up to help

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WatchWhen a local business heard one of the victims of the August 24 high-speed crash on Bay and Douglas Streets was a single mother struggling financially, he stepped in to help pay for a new vehicle. April Lawrence reports.

It was just over a week ago when the surveillance camera above Ryan Burghardt’s Budget Brake and Muffler shop captured a horrifying scene.

On Aug. 24, a speeding truck blew through a red light at Douglas and Bay Streets, smashing into three vehicles and narrowly missing a cyclist. The driver took off on foot but was arrested shortly after.

When Burghardt found out that one of the injured victims, a single mother of two, was already struggling financially he knew he wanted to help.

“I said hey why don’t we donate a vehicle we’ll find something that works for her and make that offer to her,” Burghardt said.

Then he told his friends at the INA Motors car dealership across the street and they jumped on board immediately.

“We agreed to match whatever Ryan at budget was going to put forth to get a vehicle for her,” said INA Motors General manager Dan Spicer.

Cheryl-Lynn Hebert, who is still at home recovering from a concussion, was brought to tears by the offer.

“It’s really really kind, ya, it’s very kind of everyone and totally unexpected,” she said.

The memories of the moments before and after the crash still haunt her.

“I still hear the noise and remember the seconds before and after,” Hebert said. “There was just suddenly a truck in my car, a loud noise, a strange smell, it was the airbags and the metal,” she said.

The car is a write-off and while she has opened a claim with ICBC, it will take time. And since Hebert uses the car to shuttle her kids to and from school and her full-time job as a nurse, Burghardt wanted to bring some help a little faster.

“We’ll be able to get in something nice and safe for the next little while and of course offer her any maintenance that she needs over the next couple of years,” he said.

An online fundraiser has also been set up for Hebert to help cover expenses until she can return to work.

Another fundraiser has been set up for another victim of the crash who was on shift as a security guard at the time.

Victoria Police say charges haven’t been sworn against the driver of the truck and the investigation is ongoing.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), looking into whether police were pursuing the truck at the time of the crash say there is no update on their investigation.

 

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