Clearwater tow operator, residents prevent wildfire at collision site

Clearwater, British Columbia — August 26, 2015 — A Clearwater tower and local residents have been deemed heroes after working to contain a fire at the scene of a two-car collision late last week.

Taking place on Clearwater Valley Road the afternoon of August 20, the high speed crash caught the attention of neighbour George Briggs after he saw black smoke billowing near his home, the Clearwater Times reports.

Briggs arrived, a five-gallon pump-can in hand, to find a Pontiac Grand Prix and Ford Flex totalled, with the pick up heavily engulfed in flames. He was soon joined by Clearwater Towing’s Kevin Tinker, who had been in the area recovering a vehicle from a ditch nearby.

With the help of two other men, including resident Arne Lundquist, Tinker attached a line to the spokes of one of the truck’s wheels, hauling it to an open gravel area in Briggs’ driveway, away from the highly flammable trees and brush.

“I was afraid of the gas tank exploding but Kevin seemed to know what he was doing,” Briggs told the Times, adding that neighbours then used fire extinguishers and small watering containers to help contain the blaze before RCMP, paramedics, firefighters, highway rescue and forest services personnel arrived.

“It was really quite an effort by those folks,” Briggs says. “It was a good community effort.”

Tinker adds that he was happy to pitch in and is thankful that he happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“I’m just glad that I was able to do that,” he said in the report. “It’s just good luck that I arrived on the scene when I did.”

According to RCMP, the male driver of the Grand Prix had been heading northbound at high speeds and passing dangerously before colliding with the other vehicle’s drivers’s side door. The Ford Flex was also heading northbound, carrying a female driver and two children under the age of four.

Paramedics transported both drivers to hospital for treatment and observation. The two children were uninjured.

RCMP have charged the male driver for driving without due care and attention in addition to passing on a double solid line.

The vehicles were towed and stored by Clearwater Towing.

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