Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Anguish of Failure

"When he got there, he could see the steering wheel was up against the man's chest and he was trapped because the front of the cab was demolished."
"He could hear the man screaming in French 'please help me. I don't want to die'. He couldn't see the driver any more because the truck was covered in smoke."
"Carol was in shock. He doesn't want to be treated as a hero, but all of us here at Givesco consider him to be a hero. Carol is so human, he would help anyone he could, even a total stranger. That's the kind of man he is."
"Not being able to open that door just demolished him. Seeing the fire, and knowing it was a petroleum truck, going back to get a crowbar. Not too many people would do that. He stayed there with the truck on fire."
Jean Carriere, general manager, Givesco, St.-Leonard, Quebec
Gilbert Prince died after the truck he was driving, which was transporting diesel, caught fire. (Simon-Marc Charron/Radio-Canada)  

Carol Bujold, a man of courage and conviction. He was also a man in shock, despite which he reacted to a dreadful situation with the thought uppermost of saving a man's life. And right behind that thought was another, that he could himself lose his life as a result of a dramatically threatening situation. Yet he did what he could, attempted to free the driver of a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel from the cab he was trapped in.

"I had to save myself, I have a family, too, so I ran. And before I knew it, the whole truck blew up", Mr. Bujold explained to his boss, after he had been released from hospital. He had tried. Under frightfully difficult circumstances he had done his utmost to save another human being. And it is entirely likely that the sound of the terrified driver's voice begging to be freed from the death-trap he was in will haunt him the rest of his life.

Directly after the accident that had trapped the tanker driver, Mr. Bujold exited his own flat-bed truck which the tanker drive had rear-ended. He ran directly to the truck to see what he could do for the driver despite that the truck was already on fire. He was unable to open the cab doors, they were fast stuck and smoke from the fire was obscuring his vision. He returned to his own truck for a crowbar then ran back to the trapped driver.

His efforts were to no avail, he was unable to release the driver, later identified as Gilbert Prince. Imagining the fear that impending death registered in Mr. Prince's mind knowing he could not save himself, and the attempt at rescuing him had failed as the fire began to consume him will be a vision accompanying Mr. Bujold's future. He expressed the thought that if he had had help from others in his failed efforts he might have succeeded.

But no one else had the strength of character that nature had endowed this man with. No one else stepped forward to risk their own life to help free a trapped and desperate victim. The dreadful accident occurred as a series of trucks rear-ended each other one after the other. A truck had stopped in the middle lane of Highway 40 in Montreal on Tuesday. A cube van hit the stopped truck, and Mr. Bujold rear-ended the cube van.

None of those vehicles had the combustibility of a tanker truck carrying a diesel load. And it was that truck that finally in the string of rear-enders, slammed into Mr. Bujold's flat-bed truck. With the impact seizing the doors of the tanker cab, trapping the unfortunate, horrified driver. And the tanker immediately burst into flames.

Mr. Bujold knew that time was of the essence in this horrible situation. Once his attempts to free the tanker driver had completely failed he was very well aware how vulnerable a situation he had placed himself in. Six other people had been injured as a result of the collisions. He knew of a certainty he could count in seconds the time left to him to escape the inevitable. And so, he finally ran for his life. 

fire 40
An aerial view of the collision Tuesday afternoon. (Alexandre Leduc/Radio-Canada)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet