Saskatoon man grateful after surviving terrifying crash on Freeway 16

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29-year-old engineer recounts nearly being hit head-on by car going wrong way at high speed.

Author of the article:

Bryn Levy

Publishing date:

Jul 27, 202154 minutes ago2 minute read Join the conversation A red car drove the wrong way through a construction zone on Highway 16 east of Maymont, Sask. on July 26 striking a second red car (seen in the foreground) and sideswiping a black car before entering the ditch and rolling. Bystander photo posted to Facebook by user Allan Barilla. A red car drove the wrong way through a construction zone on Highway 16 east of Maymont, Sask. on July 26 striking a second red car (seen in the foreground) and sideswiping a black car before entering the ditch and rolling. Bystander photo posted to Facebook by user Allan Barilla. Photo by Allan Barilla /Facebook

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Dan Surkan says feeling his car roll “four or five times” after nearly being in a head-on collision on Highway 16 “felt like a rollercoaster, except much less fun.”

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The 29-year-old engineer from Saskatoon managed to crawl out of his back window and walk away from the crash, which happened on Monday around 2 p.m. approximately three kilometres east of Maymont.

A video shared on Facebook appears to show a small red car weaving through multiple lanes in a construction zone prior to the collision. RCMP said Tuesday in a media release that a 21-year-old man was behind the wheel, and that he drove through the construction zone at “a high rate of speed,” narrowly missing workers before colliding with two more vehicles.

Surkan said he was driving from Saskatoon to North Battleford when the collision happened. He said he was in the midst of overtaking a semi truck when he looked up to see the car headed straight toward him.

“My first thought was, ‘Did I screw up here? Is this not a divided highway?’” he said.

His thoughts didn’t linger for too long on who was at fault. Surkan said he managed to swerve just enough so the oncoming car hit his rear driver’s side door, rather than connecting straight on. The impact sent Surkan’s vehicle rolling into the ditch. A third vehicle caught trying to avoid the debris also came off the road.

The oncoming vehicle rolled, landing on its roof. According to RCMP,  the 21-year-old driver was taken to hospital.

Surkan said he found himself having a confused conversation with a 911 dispatcher — thanks to the automated system in his vehicle — after his car finally came to rest. He said she guided him to turn off his vehicle and helped him get his bearing to clamber out of the wreckage, where he was greeted by onlookers who had come rushing to help.

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“I’m just so thankful for everyone who stopped, and the firefighters and the RCMP and the paramedics and all the first responders,” he said.

Police did not immediately report any pending charges in connection with the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Police have not indicated whether alcohol or any other substances are believed to have been factors in the crash.

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