Patricia Galloway, Gord Price and Galloway’s daughter Linda Lokey. (Mike Gregory Photo)

B.C. trucker rescues woman found unconscious along highway

Chance glimpse changes two lives forever

Gord Price has been through tornadoes, hurricanes and flash floods, driven the famed ice road and rescued a man from a vehicle following a head-on crash, but coming to the aid of a Chemainus woman who he found unconscious on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway has changed his life, and now hers too, forever.

A seasoned truck driver for three decades, Price was the third big rig to leave the DCT Chambers Trucking yard in Chemainus shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning when he spotted something in the periphery of his headlights.

“I thought it was a blanket or a quilt. It just threw me right off and when I seen a hand and side of a face I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me,” Price told the Chronicle. “There’s that intuition where do you stop or don’t you because you’re kind of freaked out a little bit.”

The trucker, whose been quick to jump to the aid of others in the past, immediately pulled over to the side of the highway just north of River Road and got out his cellphone to dial 9-1-1.

As he started quickly making his way back up the dark section of highway, Price was also able to flag down a pickup truck who spun around and put its headlights onto an unconscious Patricia Galloway laying directly beside the cement barricade in only her white housecoat and a pair of shoes.

“I went to touch her and she was cold and then I went for the pulse and it was very light at first,” Price said, recounting how his first instinct was to wrap the woman in something warm and thankfully the pickup driver had a furniture pad handy.

Still on the phone to the 9-1-1 dispatch, Price, who is trained in CPR, called out to the woman to try and get a response.

“All of a sudden I looked down I started to see her eyes fluttering underneath her eyelids and that was the response I was looking for but there was no squeezing my hand, no talking and no opening the eyes,” he said.

All that Galloway remembers from earlier that night is opening the door of her home at Chemainus Gardens sometime after 10:30 p.m. to try and find her cat.

The 69-year-old great-grandmother was found two kilometres up the road and only a few steps away from a major tragedy.

“I really don’t remember too much of anything. It’s a bit overwhelming because all I did was go for a walkabout,” said Galloway who despite being told she likely suffered a minor stroke is finding the humor in the moment.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP attended River Road after reports of a woman out walking somewhere in the area.

“I vaguely remember telling someone in a car that I wanted to go for a walk but I don’t know where that was though,” Galloway added.

While all this was going on Price and the driver of the pickup where also able to wave down a third big rig from Marpole Transport to block traffic and control the area until emergency vehicles arrived.

“This all took maybe nine minutes but it felt a lot longer, trust me,” said Price.

BC Ambulance, Chemainus firefighters and RCMP arrived on scene and Galloway was placed onto a backboard and rushed to Cowichan General Hospital, but the story doesn’t end there.

“I woke up in the ambulance and was really cold and am sore today (Thursday), my shoulder, my hips, my wrist mostly,” Galloway said. “They think it was the stroke that affected part of my memory.”

Price, understandably, couldn’t quite shake the circumstances surrounding who this woman was, why she was lying on the side of the highway, and was she doing OK now thanks to his help.

An emotional meeting between Galloway and Price took place on Wednesday as the two immediately bonded and chatted before Price left for another night shift. Price’s own mother is also named Pat and is almost the age as Galloway too.

“All I wanted to do was give her a hug. I told her I’m just thankful that I found you; That I saved your life so you could get back on your feet and spend time with your daughters and grandkids and carry on with your life,” he said. “I have a big heart and I care for people and I’ve always been the one to pull my truck over to help somebody.”

In fact, a little over a decade ago Price was first on scene to a head-on crash near Laredo, Texas, where he put out a fire and rescued two people including a 19-year-old who was trapped inside one of the vehicles.

Now the trucker from Nanaimo is being heralded online by friends and strangers across Canada, and even as far south as Las Vegas, as a hero.

“I’m glad this came to a happy ending but I just can’t believe she was there three feet off the highway,” he said. “This was meant to happen. I was meant to find her. Somebody up there had a direction. I will take that on as being her guardian angel because I’m not going anywhere.”

On Thursday, Galloway and her daughter Linda Ockey enjoyed a coffee on the patio at home with Price as they recounted the events from only a few nights earlier.

“I’m just happy that he took a second look and stopped because it’s thanks to that that I’m alive today,” Galloway said. “I think he’s going to be in my life forever now.”

And if there’s any lessons to be learned, Price hopes that motorists are more aware of their surroundings.

“People need to be a little more open to looking around because you never know what you’re going to see and I just proved that,” he said. “There’s so many variables here that could have happened but they didn’t and she’s alive today because of all of that.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: New doctors, but fewer spaces for patients in Langley

Retirements have left some Langley residents without a family physician.

Langley Thunder stop Shamrocks

The local lacrosse season is close to wrapping up.

‘Sabrina’ series will film late into the night in Cloverdale

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be on location at ‘Cerberus Books’ until early Saturday

Throwback Thursday: July 19, 2018

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Our View: Location matters when it comes to candidates

Those running for civic office should live in the community they want to represent.

VIDEO: Langley City invests in outdoor recreation for residents

New amenities have been added to several of its parks, including ziplines.

UPDATE: Man, 32, found dead inside Abbotsford home

Investigators on scene Friday evening, few details released yet

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read