Vancouver Sun

Car­pen­ter saves duo trapped in car

- Michael TuT­Ton Incidents · Wolfville

KENTVILLE, N.S. •At­first, Richard Kirk couldn’t hear the screams.

The wind was howl­ing, and rain bat­tered the Nova Sco­tia car­pen­ter’s face as he looked down at a ve­hi­cle that had gone off a slip­pery An­napo­lis Val­ley road last Fri­day night and into a wa­tery ditch.

Then he heard Alex Pi­neo and Cas­sidy Jones, fright­ened and shout­ing for help. They were trapped, the frigid wa­ter en­ter­ing their bat­tered car as they strug­gled to open the jammed doors.

He said he didn’t even think about it — he just acted re­flex­ively to help.

“I hollered. I threw a piece of ice at the side of the car so they knew I was there,” he said, adding he then called 911.

“I just jumped in the wa­ter, put my feet against the bank and shouted, ‘I’ll get you out. Just hold on.’ ”

“I put my back against the door and gave it a rock and I was able to get the driver’s side rear door open.”

The 33-year-old came for­ward this week af­ter Pi­neo put out a so­cial me­dia ap­peal for help find­ing his res­cuer.

The cou­ple had man­aged to es­cape the ve­hi­cle, but in the con­fu­sion the pair didn’t get Kirk’s name or tele­phone num­ber as res­cue ve­hi­cles ar­rived.

Kirk said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day he had come across the crashed ve­hi­cle as he was driv­ing back to his home in Hall’s Har­bour from Wolfville.

Af­ter­ward, he sim­ply con­tin­ued on his way, and told his wife, Amelia Kirk, that he’d just car­ried out a sin­gle-handed res­cue.

“I told her, I just pulled two peo­ple out of a car on Church Street that was in a drainage ditch,” he re­called.

He said Amelia was pleased with him, and he re­ceived “an ex­tra plate of sup­per,” but he didn’t ex­pect fur­ther recog­ni­tion.

“I just did it. I don’t see some­thing like that as an act of hero­ism. Peo­ple are in need. When some­body’s in need you help them. That’s what I was taught,” he said, as he pre­pared to start his work day as a con­trac­tor build­ing houses.

He also made light of how he’d shifted the car in or­der to open the door, say­ing it sim­ply seemed “us­ing my body was the eas­i­est way.”

Even­tu­ally, Pi­neo’s ap­peal pro­duced an an­swer: Their saviour was this unas­sum­ing car­pen­ter from Hall’s Har­bour.

Pi­neo was unavail­able for an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day, but said in an email: “We’ve found the man who helped us and we’ve thanked him.”

Kirk in­sisted Wed­nes­day it was hardly any trou­ble: “My boots were wet, and I had wet feet. I work out­side all win­ter. A lit­tle bit of wet feet, that hap­pens on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Kirk’s aunt, Sheila Tan­ner, said in an in­ter­view her nephew is a low-key fel­low, and she’s not sur­prised he’s down­play­ing his ac­tions.

“He’s a gen­tle, kind­hearted soul,” she said.

 ??  ?? Richard Kirk
Richard Kirk

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