U.S. baseball team rescues B.C. woman from burning car

Port Angeles Lefties were on their way to Kelowna when they rescued the woman along Highway 1

  • Jun. 29, 2018 11:30 a.m.

By Jesse Major, Peninsula Daily News

A U.S. baseball team have a new fan after they rescued a B.C. woman from her burning car on their way to play against the Kelowna Falcons.

Port Angeles Lefties Coach Darren Westergard was driving ahead of the team bus east of Chilliwack Tuesday, when he and catcher Evan Pace spotted the smoking Subaru Forester in a ditch on the side of the Highway 1.

He said he slammed on the brakes — waking players sleeping in the back — and the team jumped into action, pulling Linda Jack, 67, of Kelowna out of her vehicle before it burst into flames.

“The guys got thrown around the car and woke up real quick,” Westergard said. “It was cool to see everyone get after it, helping her get out of the car and up the embankment.”

Pace said the smoke from Jack’s vehicle was thick and that without help from others on the team they wouldn’t not have been able to remove her belongings before the car caught fire.

“They were all grabbing her stuff to try to save all her possessions because we knew that car was about to go,” the Louisiana native said.

He described thick smoke and said it was difficult to see into the vehicle. Not long after they helped her out of the vehicle, the car became fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters blocked the highway upon arrival, he said.

The team had taken a couple wrong turns along the way and had they been on schedule, they wouldn’t have been there to help.

“It was impeccable timing,” Pace said. “It’s funny the way God works in that we were able to be there at the right time.”

Jack, reached by phone Thursday, said she doesn’t know how she lost control of her vehicle, but she is thankful the Lefties were there to help.

She was driving to her Kelowna home from Vancouver when the wreck happened. She suffered a broken hand and a cracked sternum.

“I’m feeling much better,” she said. “It’s just quite a shock when you crash like that. You never expect something like that.”

After paramedics examined Jack at the scene, Westergard offered her a ride to her home, which was in the same city the Lefties would play in later that night.

“They gave me a ride right to my door and they were just lovely,” she said, adding that the ride home was fun. “They were singing along to the country and western music and having a grand old time. They’re just nice kids.”

Lefties owner Matt Acker said Thursday he is proud of the team and coaching staff and that he believes any other team in the West Coast League would have done the same thing.

“I’m proud of the guys for doing it,” he said. “I’m glad our guys were there and I’m glad she’s OK. I’m proud of Darren, our coaching staff and our players.”

Jack said she used to attend the Falcons games regularly with her husband before he died five years ago, but is now rooting for the Port Angeles Lefties.

Jack said she was disappointed to learn that the Lefties lost their game against the Falcons 6-2 that night, but she hoped to see them defeat her home team during their last game of the series Thursday.

“I told them when they left I hope they win,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ucluelet releases draft Climate Action Plan

Potential opportunity exists to brand town as a ‘low-carbon tourism leader’.

Ucluelet Aquarium model spawning inspiration worldwide

Groups from B.C., Nova Scotia, the State of Washington and Scotland are learning from Ucluelet.

Tofino’s housing crisis spilling into hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read