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

Open burning permitted again in Kamloops Fire Centre

Low fire rating prompts decision throughout Kamloops Fire Centre

B.C. Rural Party co-founder rebukes pro-NDP accusation

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen disputes being NDP campaign supporter

COLUMN: From pot to policing

I am sure the cannabis legalization on Oct 17 will be the number one issue on everyone’s minds

South Okanagan Indo-Canadian pledge for hospital expansion recieves large boost

Jaswinder Garib has donated $30,000 to the $500,000 pledge

B.C. man facing first-degree murder charge in death of Belgian tourist

Amelie Sakkalis’ body was found on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Your morning news in 90: Sept. 19, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

LETTER: Who do we blame for the tragedy of Marissa Shen’s death?

The B.C. girl was killed in a Burnaby park last July

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington in search of a way to bridge divide

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

Most Read