Trucker thanks his rescuers (July 27, 2001)

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WINNIPEG, Man. — Harvey Harder, the Winnipeg trucker who was pulled from his burning rig moments before it exploded into flames, held a news conference on July 25, to thank his rescuers.

But the 61-year-old trucker isn’t sure he’ll be getting back behind the wheel anytime too soon.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do from here,” Harder told local media. “I’m not the type of person that gives up.”

Harder suffered only a small gash to his head, but he admits he’s lucky to be alive and owes his life to the four men who pulled him from the wreck.

“I just consider myself very lucky the right people were there at that time,” says Harder, who remembers little of what happened before the accident. Police say the diabetic lost consciousness before the accident, but still aren’t sure why.

“I know I hadn’t had much sleep the night before because of the humid weather,” says Harder.

Dan Gagnon, Royce Yackel, Albert Bernshine and William Trojanowski are being dubbed heroes thanks to their dramatic rescue effort and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are considering recommending the men for official commendation for their actions.

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