It’s unlikely that someone in a fiery crash would pray for the arrival of a heavy metal band for their survival, but that’s exactly who extracted a young couple from a roadside inferno last weekend.
On Sunday morning, Dan Wakefield and Chris Lang, of the Langley band Utility Provider, were heading home from a gig when a car, they believed to be a smaller model BMW, screamed past them at an immense speed on the Trans-Canada Highway at about 179 Street in Surrey.
Wakefield remembers the incident vividly.
The band was traveling at about 150km/hr, Wakefield believes.
“And he blew by me, like a bullet going by your ear,” Wakefield said Wednesday. As the driver tried to swerve back into Wakefield’s lane, the driver of the excessively speeding car was unable to correct properly.
“Basically, he was in slow motion going in front of us at this point,” Wakefield said.
The out-of-control car passed through another lane into the HOV lane and crashed into a pole with the passenger’s side door.
“The car literally exploded – big, fiery ball, chunks flying – like a movie explosion,” he said.
Wakefield had to swerve to avoid the explosion.
Then the street pole toppled right at the car Wakefield was driving.
“I’ll see that picture for the rest of my life, that street pole was coming right for us,” he said. Wakefield swerved to avoid the oncoming pole and continued through the debris field and the smoke, and looked over to see the burning car was still tumbling.
“At this point, he’s doing the same speed as me,” Wakefield said. The rolling car hit another pole and came to a stop.
At that point, Wakefield and Lang got out of their car and ran over to the car to assist.
“I was thinking, `I sure hope it doesn’t blow up,'” Wakefield said. “It wasn’t an issue of not doing anything. It wasn’t a fender bender, where they were just going to be fine.”
So the two charged into the inferno. Lang grabbed a door that was knocked open from impact and guided the driver out, passing him to Wakefield.
Lang went to get the woman passenger.
People had now stopped by the roadside and were heading for the wreckage.
“I was saying `we have to get away from the car,'” Wakefield recounted, noting he was concerned it might blow up again.
He received a message from the passenger’s grandmother in New Zealand saying `thank you very much,’ Wakefield said, adding he believes the couple is okay.
“They walked away.”