'Anyone would do it': Off-duty Ottawa firefighter rushes to help man pinned underneath SUV
Christina Succi, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, June 24, 2019 10:33PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 10:34PM EDT
What began as a routine day for Matt Mountain quickly became anything but.
The off-duty firefighter was on his way to help a friend at his business, driving along West Hunt Club Road, when he noticed something wasn't right.
"I wasn't expecting it this morning," said Mountain.
"It threw me for a loop."
The firefighter of 17 years turned his car around and rushed towards the scene. It wasn't long before he found a man pinned underneath an SUV.
"It looked like it might have been a minor accident," said Mountain
"I thought maybe it was a bicycle that got caught up."
According to Ottawa Paramedics, the man had been riding an e-bike in the area of West Hunt Club Road and Merivale Road when a collision occurred with a jeep at around 6:40 a.m.
Mountain called 9-1-1. Once fire crews arrived, a team effort was made alongside several bystanders to life the jeep off the man.
"With enough people we could lift the car which we did so we put the car in neutral lifted and pushed it back," said Mountain.
Mountain went to feel for a pulse but couldn't find one. Paramedics worked relentlessly on the man in his 50s, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The off-duty firefighter credits the bystanders with giving the victim a fighting chance.
"There wasn't a part of the car from the driver's door forward that didn't have someone lifting," said Mountain.
"I just happened to be at the right time, at the right place"
Councillor for the area Knoxdale-Merivale Keith Egli says following a fatal collision, representatives from the city's traffic department, the coroner's office and Ottawa Police can meet within 10 days to look at potential causes, like road design.
"They report back to what they think could be done to address the root cause," said Egli.
"It's one of the busiest roads in the city."
According to the city's annual road safety reports, Hunt Club often tops the list for having some of the most dangerous intersections in the capital.
"You're right it does show up often but that's as much volume as anything else," said Egli.
"It's one of our biggest and busiest in the city, so people need to exercise caution."
As for Mountain, he doesn't want to be called a hero.
"I don't know if it's so much of an instinct, anyone would do it," said Mountain.
When CTV asked Mountain if he would hesitate to do it again, his answer was instant.
"No, not at all."
Ottawa Police have not yet identifed the victim, and are still working on notifying next of kin.
The invesitgation is on-going and there is no known cause at this time.