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Rescuer recalls intense moments after Armstrong car crash

Kurt Langridge, from Salmon Arm, was one of the first people at the scene of a two-vehicle collision May 5 on the highway just north of Armstrong.
Image Credit: Kurt Langridge
May 12, 2016 - 9:30 AM

SPALLUMCHEEN - One of the bystanders who helped a mother and son out of a burning vehicle near Armstrong is humbled at being called a hero.

Kurt Langridge, 29, from Salmon Arm, was on his way to work shortly before 10 a.m. May 5 when he suddenly found himself in the midst of an emergency situation.

Travelling down Highway 97 A, Langridge came upon a serious two-vehicle car crash at the intersection with McLeod Road.

“I was behind a truck and I didn’t really see the collision, but I saw the car in front being spun around after it was hit,” Langridge says.

Both he and the truck driver in front of him pulled over immediately and got out to help. A small fire had already started in the vehicle. 

“He ran out and actually pulled the guy out of the car. I went over to give him a hand. The guy’s mom was in there too but she got out on her own. I stayed with her and took her where she could sit down and catch her breath,” Langridge says, adding the man was screaming in pain.

Once they got the occupants out, Langridge says the fire quickly began to grow. Within a couple of minutes, it was engulfed in flames.

“The tires started popping and making noise, so we took them back further in case it blew,” Langridge says.

He doesn’t want to think of what would have happened if the mother and son hadn’t gotten out when they did.

“It would have been a different story,” he says.

The father of the 46-year-old Lake Country man they helped pull from the vehicle calls them heroes, and is grateful to them for saving his son’s life.

But Langridge says he was just acting on instinct, doing what he hopes someone else would do for him.

“You see someone in a car, there’s an accident, there’s flames — you just go into survival mode I guess,” he says.

While he was disappointed to see a number of drivers trying to get through the crash scene instead of staying back, he was encouraged to see roughly five people stop to help.

“It’s good when people act quickly and just think of other peoples’ needs before their own,” he says.

Langridge was surprised when he heard the father of the man he helped was trying to find him, and the other bystanders.

“I appreciate that, it’s pretty unexpected,” he says.

The father intends to recommend the men for a medal of bravery for their heroism.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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