Off-Duty RCMP officer saves two-year-old from submerged vehicle
An off-duty RCMP officers was in the right place at the right time Wednesday, saving a two-year-old girls from a overturned and submerged car on Highway 17 in Delta.
“A situation like this shows that whether officers are on or off-duty, public safety remains their number one priority, no matter where they are or in what community,” said Inspector Ward Lymburner, Operations Officer with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
“Constable Aaron Jabs is an exceptional IHIT investigator so his display of humanity here shows an extension of the kind of person he is.”
On Feb 1, at 7 a.m., Alyse a 25-year-old mother of two and resident of Surrey was on her way to work when she swerved to avoid ducks waddling across Hwy 17.
She reported losing control of her car which eventually came to rest overturned and partially submerged in a deep, overgrown, water filled ditch that runs adjacent to the Highway 17.
While not a witness to the collision, an off-duty RCMP officer and his wife were traveling south on Hwy 17 near 52nd Street, when they observed a distraught, wet little boy climbing out of the ditch.
The officer, Const. Jabs of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, stopped at the scene and the six-year-old boy, Jordan, alerted him to an overturned vehicle in the ditch.
Due to the overgrowth of vegetation and low light conditions at the time, the vehicle was described as being “virtually invisible” to passing traffic.
Leaving Jordan with his wife, Cst. Jabs rushed down the steep ditch and into the water where, according to the boy’s mother Alyse, a frantic attempt was being made to get into the car to save Haylee, her two-year-old little girl.
“We were stuck inside and I wasn’t sure how we’d get out,” says Alyse. “Once I realized we were upside down I tried unsuccessfully to open the door. Then I told Jordan to open the rear passenger door and go get help… he walked around the car and up the embankment by himself and started to try to flag someone down.
“The man ran from his vehicle down the hill. I was so distraught, and I asked him for help to get her out… It was dark and hard to see. His wife brought their phone which had a flashlight on it and he was able to get my daughter out.”
Only after her release from hospital did Alyse learn that it had been an off-duty RCMP officer that had rescued her daughter.
“I had no idea he was a police officer! I couldn’t have gotten my daughter out without him. I don’t know his name, but I’d love to meet him again to thank him and his family for what they did for me and my children,” says Alyse.
When asked about his heroic actions that morning, the officer responded:
“I did what any off-duty RCMP officer would do in the same situation. I made sure they all got out of the car as quickly as possible, called 911, and then kept them all safe until emergency crews could arrive.”
Alyse and her children were transported to hospital by ambulance following the collision for treatment of minor injuries and for further examination. All have since been released from hospital and are now safe at home.