“When you’re a hero, you deserve to be acknowledged.”
These are the words behind the sentiment Mill Bay resident, Linda Petrovic wants to pass along to a man that saved her life 55 years ago.
Now 74-years-old, Linda wishes to pass along her most profound thanks to her hero for affording her all the wonderful opportunities she has had in life.
On April 1st, 1967, Linda was in a vehicle along with two others late at night at the Mt. Douglas Lookout in PKOLS (Mt. Douglas Park).
The ‘57 Ford she was in lost control while going nearly 130 kilometres per hour down the mountain. It skidded for 160 feet before plunging off Churchill Drive onto Shelbourne Street where it wrapped around a tree.
The vehicle’s damage was so extreme it left all passengers unconscious and severely injured, including an 18-year-old Linda.
A man who was in a vehicle nearby came to the site of the crash while the wheels of the ‘57 Ford were still spinning.
He was able to pull all three unconscious passengers from the wreckage and put them into the backseat of his vehicle.
The mysterious hero then sped toward the Royal Jubilee Hospital, but on his way there he was pulled over by Saanich Police for speeding.
Once the officer who had stopped this hero saw who was in the backseat of the car and heard where the vehicle’s destination was—and what had happened, he gave him a police escort to the hospital.
The three passengers survived in large part to the efforts of this mystery person.
On one occasion he visited Linda while she was in recovery at the hospital with a crushed foot and a significant head-wound. She vaguely remembers their conversation but Linda–who was only 18-years-old at that time–cannot remember getting the man’s name in their interaction.
“It’s funny, when things like that accident happen, a part of your mind just shuts down and you don’t think about it, you don’t go there,” Linda told Victoria Buzz.
“Then one day you turn 74 and you’re thinking, ‘you know, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this guy,’ and I want to know who he is.”
Linda made a Facebook post on a page entitled ‘Old Victoria BC’ recounting some of the details of the accident and her hopes to identify the mystery hero, should he still be, “in this realm.”
The post garnered hundreds of comments, shares and interactions within only 24-hours.
She told us, “the response was just unbelievable.” Sadly, the comments section has yielded no leads on who Linda’s hero may have been.
“I’m thinking, if you’re a young man and you have the traumatic experience of finding this accident, taking the people out of the car, getting pulled over by the police, you’re going to relay that story,” said Linda.
“I was hoping maybe somebody heard the story and they remember who told it to them.”
She said he must have been between the ages of 20-25. She doesn’t think he could have been much older than that because at the time Mt. Douglas Lookout was considered to be a make-out spot, and Victorians over 25-years-old didn’t frequent the area often.
When asked if she could find him, what would she say to him, Linda replied, “I would just want to thank him for the life that I’ve had.”
Linda has two daughters, seven grandchildren and says she feels pretty blessed to have gotten a new lease on life all those years ago.
“I was only 18, and sometimes it takes a long time to grow up and appreciate the people in our lives that make us who we are,” she said.
If you know anything about this 1967 car wreck or the man who saved Linda’s life, email Victoria Buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org.