Cloverdale nurse Angela Feltrin was driving home from her night shift when she witnessed a car crash.
Feltrin remembers being tired from her shift at the Cottage Pavilion residential care home in Abbotsford. But as she drove west on Highway 1 that night on August 14, 2016, she noted it was a clear, beautiful summer evening.
In the distance, she could see a police cruiser pulled over on the side of the highway — the flashing lights were on, she remembers — and what happened next, happened fast.
“This guy raced passed me and slammed right into the [police vehicle],” said Feltrin. “And then she was on one side in the ditch, and he was on the other.”
Feltrin pulled over, called 9-1-1, and ran to help.
The police officer had been badly injured in the crash. Feltrin was quickly able to see that she was having difficulty breathing, and assessed that she may have sustained a traumatic brain injury, or damage to her spinal cord.
Minutes after the crash occurred, Langley truck driver Earl Hanes arrived on the scene. He pulled his big rig to the side of the road and hurried over to see if he could help.
Feltrin, who was holding the police officer’s head still, asked him to help her keep the officer from moving to prevent her from potentially injuring herself further.
“It took about a half hour” for an ambulance to arrive, Hanes remembered. He assisted with the car crash victims who were in the other vehicle, and returned to help Feltrin with the officer. “I was just in the [car], holding her hand and keeping her calm,” said Hanes.
As the officer was struggling and unable to communicate, it took both Hanes and Feltrin to minimize her movement. Without Hane’s help, Feltrin said she wouldn’t have been able to keep a hold of the officer. The two of them kept her still, and kept her company, until an ambulance arrived about 30 minutes later.
| Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr awards Earl Hanes a certificate of appreciation for his work in saving an RCMP officer's life.
On Thursday (Feb. 14), both Feltrin and Hanes were awarded a certificate of appreciation from the RCMP for their work in saving the police officer’s life.
The two were one of a group to receive an honour at the recognition ceremony, which included RCMP officers, civilian members of the RCMP, and citizens. Recipients were thanked for everything from saving a choking victim with the Heimlich maneuver to successfully negotiating the release of a hostage victim.
Feltrin and Hanes were recognized for their work in saving a life that summer night in 2016.
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When she was notified that she would be receiving an award from B.C. RCMP Commanding Officer Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Feltrin couldn’t believe it. “I thought, I’m just a mom. I’m just a nurse,” she said.
During the award ceremony, master of ceremonies Sergeant Major Michael Procyk put it this way:
“In this dynamic and chaotic situation, Ms. Feltrin did not hesitate to become involved, and her actions that day were greatly appreciated by the colleagues, friends and family of the injured RCMP officer.
“The professionalism, dedication and humanity exhibited by Ms. Feltrin is a credit to her both personally and professionally and are in keeping with the highest traditions of a Canadian citizen,” he said.