On December 15, 2022, Dawna Jacobsen, a long-distance cross-border driver out of our Winnipeg Terminal, demonstrated remarkable defensive driving skills, which incredibly resulted in saving a young boy’s life.
Dawna was headed west on Highway 11 near Kapuskasing, Ontario at the time of the incident. It started with her slowing down as a pick-up truck was approaching Highway 11 from her right. She then saw some lights that didn’t look normal and saw what she thought was a large box coming toward her. Seeing this, she made the decision to maneuver to the right shoulder and stop immediately while activating her emergency lights. What Dawna saw was a snowmobile, not a box, and it had no rider. The driver was lying in the eastbound lane several feet from the snowmobile. It had turned out to be a 12-year-old boy. He had been hit by an eastbound SUV as he was crossing the highway. Dawna dialled 911 to request help immediately.
While on the phone with 911, she saw two gentlemen approach the boy to help keep him stable. With the ambulance arriving within 15 minutes, Dawna and the two men were able to provide the emergency responders with the information they needed to treat the boy.
Dawna’s actions activating her emergency signals also signed to an eastbound truck that he needed to stop, which protected the boy from possibly being run over. With everything that happened, what we know is that Dawna was the first vehicle to arrive at the scene and her actions helped to change the course of a very bad situation.
The next day Dawna spoke to Tom Boehler, our Senior Director of Safety and Compliance at the time. He had reviewed the footage captured on the dashcam and said by all counts of the video, Dawna’s actions controlled the vehicles behind her and the approaching traffic and avoided hitting the snowmobile and possibly throwing it back toward the boy.
The Erb Group is grateful and honoured to have a professional and alert driver like Dawna on our team. Her ability to recognize potential danger and to react appropriately helped save a young boy’s life.