words :: Ben Osborne.
Just like any fall, the first thing Danielle Baker thought was —”Wow, this is going to suck.” It’s a moment any biker, skier, hiker, or outdoors-lover can relate to. When you’ve miscalculated something, had a mental slip-up, or had a mechanical failure. For Baker, it was the latter.
Just over nine years ago, the Vancouver Island raised Squamish local was headed north on the Coquihalla Highway when a combination of a steep incline, a rough, well-travelled highway, and her rear pannier flexing into her back wheel vaulted the cyclist over her bars.
While some moments of “Wow, this is going to suck.”, turn out O.K., this one was far from that.
Upon impact, Baker was knocked unconscious, laying in the middle of the road on B.C.’s busiest mountain pass. A road frequented by large semi-trucks bringing goods from the port of Vancouver to the interior, this was not a good situation.
The next thing Baker knew, she was wrapped in a blanket on the side of the highway alongside a man and a woman who had seen her bike, then her, and acted quickly to remove the middle of the busy highway from a blind corner.
A combination of luck and goodwill left Baker with a slew of injuries, but none as bad as what could have resulted from being left unconscious in the middle of the road. And the reason for her luck? The man and woman who dragged her out of harm’s way and called the ambulance.
Nine years after her crash, Baker is still looking for her heroes. After reaching out to the RCMP, her search has been fruitless, although she was able to thank the EMT who saved her life that day. But for her, the work isn’t done until she finds the duo who made a world of difference in her life.
“My family has experienced deep loss and we have really come to value what we have and because of that,” says Baker. “I feel as though I should be able to thank the people who saved my life now, even more than thanking them at the time.”
If you have heard of any story like this one, or are those people who pulled Danielle off the road, send us a message—she owes you a personal thanks. —ML