LIVERPOOL, NS - Debbie Roy is looking for her angel.
On Dec. 10, she was pulled from the wreckage of her vehicle by a kind stranger she believes is from Kings County. It’s her Christmas wish to thank him for his help.
The Liverpool woman had attended her husband’s work Christmas party in Halifax the night before. The next morning, they decided to go to Bayer’s Lake and have breakfast before doing some shopping.
“I wanted cowboy boots for Christmas,” she says. “I knew there was a place in Truro that sold them, so my husband said, ‘Let’s go get them’.”
It was raining fairly heavily as the couple headed out in her silver-coloured, 2003 GMC Envoy, but they didn’t make it very far. Just past Exit 3 on Highway 102, she says, her husband spotted a brown vehicle speeding towards them.
“He said, ‘He’s coming right at us! He’s going to hit you,’” she said.
Roy was behind the wheel and was on the inside lane near the barrier.
“I was trying to keep him from hitting me and not hit the barrier,” Roy said.
Her car tires hit the gravel and her car spun out of control. It flipped onto its roof and finally came to a rest only a few feet away from a wall of rock, facing the opposite direction.
For a moment, Roy says, she couldn’t do anything.
The air bag had deployed and her seatbelt had tightened, making it difficult to move. One of her legs had become twisted so severely her husband thought it was broken. Her other foot was covered in broken glass, and her body was jammed under the steering wheel.
Richard had fared better. He, too, was shaken, and unable to get out of the vehicle.
“I told him to try and see if the window would go down,” Roy said. “He has a bad hip and it was a hard job for him to crawl out. I don’t know if he would’ve been able to help me.”
Suddenly, Roy’s angel appeared at her window. She’d managed to open it as well, but she couldn’t move any further.
“He came right in my window and told me, ‘We’ll get you out, don’t worry about that’,” she said.
They were the words she needed to hear most at that moment.
“He took charge and he didn’t panic,” she said. “I don’t know if he was a firefighter or had some kind of training like that, but he knew what he was doing right off the bat. He was calm, collected and really helpful.”
The car’s engine was still on and the wheels were spinning, so the mystery man helped her get the vehicle turned off.
“I think they thought the car was going to catch on fire with me in it,” she said. “Then he asked me if my steering wheel tilted. I didn’t know if it did but by luck, I got it to tilt a little bit.”
That was enough to allow her to wiggle free, with the man’s help. Her shoe fell off as she tried to get out, making it impossible to push herself free amidst the broken glass, and the man snagged it and passed it to another onlooker as he helped her out.
Roy was taken to hospital for assessment, and luckily, neither she nor her husband had any broken bones. She suffered a whiplash and has some injuries to her shoulder, but both walked away from the crash that totalled her car.
“I was so upset when I got out I didn’t even think to thank him or get his name,” she said, adding that the police on the scene weren’t able to give her his name either, but indicated they believed he resided in the Canning, Kings County area.
She describes the man as being in his late 30s with light-coloured hair and says he was taller than her own five-foot-four.
“I’d dearly love to thank him,” she said.
And the vehicle that caused the crash?
“He didn’t stop,” she says. “There were six 911 calls about our accident, but he was nowhere to be seen. And I didn’t get his license plate because it all happened too fast.”
Roy, who only had personal liability on her older vehicle, is now without a car or the boots she wanted for Christmas but is grateful to be alive.
“Everyone says I must have had an angel looking over my shoulder to walk away from that, and this guy was really great and was part of the reason I did,” she said.
“I don’t know if my husband could’ve gotten me out without his help. I’m so glad this passerby stopped and helped me. I hope I do find him just to say thank you.”