Lessons From a Nearly Fatal Crash

2017 GMC Sierra Kodiak

On Friday, July 28th, Lindsay P. was driving west on a dirt road near Wadena and highway 5 leading to her home. She was behind the wheel of a 2017 GMC Sierra that her father had purchased only weeks earlier from Capital GMC. Luckily, Lindsay had left her own vehicle, a 2008 Pontiac Torrent at home. In front of her, a truck had been spreading gravel along the road while the RM was cutting grass in the adjacent ditch. Around 3 P.M., two vehicles passed Lindsay going the opposite direction, kicking up a cloud of dust. In the dust, Lindsay couldn’t see the gravel truck slowing to turn off the road.

The Crash

But Lindsay doesn’t actually remember the cars passing her. She doesn’t remember the cloud of dust. And she doesn’t remember seeing the brake lights of the gravel truck. That’s because Lindsay crashed into the back of it at full speed. Given the nature of the impact, and resulting injury to her head, her recollections are hazy. So, all of the details we have about the collision itself have been pieced together from the report of collision investigators and the accounts of witnesses. And, it’s very fortunate that those witnesses were on hand.

They were able to alert first responders who arrived shortly after the accident. By the time Lindsay regained consciousness in the ambulance, several hours had passed. When Lindsay finally arrived at the hospital in Saskatoon, doctors were able to assess the severity of her injuries. As it turned out, she had suffered a broken arm, burns from the airbag deployment, as well as countless cuts and abrasions. The wrist required a plate and some pins. But she considers herself lucky and avoided major surgery. Given the severity of the accident, testified by the compacted remains of her dad’s truck, a broken arm is far from the worst possible consequence.

The Aftermath

While the events surrounding Lindsay’s crash may be hazy, the result is certainly clear. The truck, a 2017 GMC Sierra, was destroyed. “The front end was pushed in so far that the engine was touching my knees,” says Lindsay. Additionally, the cab was pushed over the edge of the bed. The hood crumbled upward over the roof of the cab. Obviously, the damage was irreparable. Pictures of the wreckage are a grim reminder of the fact that things could have gone worse for Lindsay.

We asked her if she had any reservations about returning to the road. She replied that she had no memory of the accident, so she had no fear about getting back behind the wheel.

Back on the Road

But she did want to extend a message to her fellow drivers: “…beware of dry gravel roads. If your visibility is so bad that you can’t see anything due to dust, pull over and wait for it to settle. Also, I truly believe that I survived this accident because I was driving my dad’s Sierra and not my own SUV.”

There’s no doubt that full-sized pickups are one of the safest types of vehicle on the road. Their size, cabin heights, and reinforced steel frames make them stand out among other passenger vehicles in crash safety. And the Sierra is one of the finest members of the category. It has the highest rating in the moderate overlap front collision test from the IIHS, which is probably a good representation of the crash in which Lindsay was involved. And her limited injuries are the testament to the importance of those tests.


Capital GMC wishes Lindsay the best of luck in her recovery and encourages everyone to drive with caution and care.


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