A Good Samaritan's story
On the way home from dining out, Katherine and Pat Rodman saw flashing lights on the side of the road.
It was around 8 o'clock on March 19, a Wednesday.
They'd been talking about taking their first fishing trip of the year, looking forward to visiting Squamish and touring the back trails on a quad ATV.
The Surrey residents are an outdoorsy couple, proudly describing themselves as "bush people."
Katherine was about to return to work as a traffic control person after several months off due to a shoulder injury suffered in a September 2007 traffic accident. She was a passenger in her mother-in-law's parked car when another vehicle slammed into it.
Both Kathy and Pat, a forklift operator, have occupational first aid training.
As they drove up 96 Avenue toward 133 Street, they could see several vehicles parked with their hazard lights on.
A woman had been hit by a vehicle while jaywalking, and several people were trying to assist her.
Pat rolled down the window.
"Do you need first aid help?" he asked.
"Yes,"came the answer.
They pulled over.
Someone handed Katherine a cell phone to talk to the 911 operator.
The woman on the ground was conscious and talking, but her legs were at a strange angle and she was bleeding from her head.
Pat supported the woman's head in his hands to keep her from moving and aggravating a possible spinal injury.
Katherine began describing the victim's condition to the paramedic on the line.
She never heard the truck.
Pat remembers the sound of tires skidding on the wet pavement, people shouting, him diving to one side and feeling the wind of the side mirror as the small pickup went by.
It ran over the injured woman and hit Katherine full-on, sending her flying nearly 10 metres.
She ended up underneath the truck.
The driver was revving the engine as Pat reached through the door window and clawed the key out of the ignition.
He could smell booze.
Pat roared at the driver to get out of the vehicle, and wisely, the man complied.
Katherine was unconscious, her head beginning to swell from a bleeding skull fracture. The woman she had been trying to help was in similar condition.
Katherine woke up six days later in hospital, so dazed she thought she was there because she had a bad case of flu.
She didn't discover otherwise until a visiting aunt and uncle made a passing remark about her getting run over.
She demanded an explanation from her husband.
"Why am I here? Tell me the truth."
He started to cry.
"You were hit by a truck" he said.
She came home a week ago, to a pile of unpaid bills.
The couple estimate they've spent about $1,000, mostly on medication.
Her upper front tooth was knocked out. She has four broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, a shattered cheekbone and she has been suffering seizures and momentary blackouts from her skull fracture.
Katherine is frustrated with ICBC, which has declined to pay her benefits while it negotiates a final settlement.
"They said it's because I wasn't working."
ICBC spokesperson Kathy Taylor says past wage loss benefits are usually paid to employed people to help cover lost wages, but in some cases, when someone can show they have a job lined up, coverage would be considered on a "case-by-case basis."
Pat has taken time off from his job to look after Katherine, and their two adult children have been leaving their studies to help out as well.
Their landlord is being very understanding about paying late, they said.
At last word, the woman they were trying to help had undergone multiple surgeries, but was expected to survive.
The driver of the pickup was facing a possible charge of driving too fast for road conditions.
Would Katherine do it again, come to the aid of a stranger?
She thinks it about it a moment, and sighs.
"I suppose I would," she says.
She's that kind of person.