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

Parkland musical theatre lights up the stage with Grease

North Saanich school stages show Jan. 30 to Feb. 2

City of Victoria endorses potential class action lawsuit against fossil fuel giants

Data will be gathered to quantify how much environmental damage the city has faced

Toronto Arrows players take aim at youth rugby clinic

Juan de Fuca team offers get acquainted clinics

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Braves host 2019 Prospects Game, Saturday at Pearkes

Campbell River to host VIJHL All-Star Game, Sunday

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

Most Read