WINNIPEG, Man. — A truck driver is lucky to be alive today, after being pulled out of his burning semi moments before it exploded into flames.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are hailing four men as heroes — one of whom is also a trucker — after they risked their lives to free 61-year-old Harvey Harder.
Harder, who is a diabetic, apparently passed out at the wheel and his gravel truck careened into the median. The driver’s side fuel tank then caught fire, and immediately after the daring rescue, it exploded.
“Given the intensity of the heat, the flames and all that smoke, what those men did was nothing short of heroic,” RCMP Sgt. Steve Saunders told local media. “Actually, heroic is an understatement.”
Royce Yackel, gravel trucker William Trojanowski, Dan Gagnon and Albert Bernshine were the rescuers, as they worked together to remove an unconscious Harder from his rig.
Harder, who is resting in hospital in stable condition, was pulled free of the truck through the windshield. Ironically Gagnon is a former windshield repairman whose experience helped get the window out quickly.