Rescued family reconnects with their "hero"

All she knew was he is from Fort St. John, works for a tow truck company, and is named Jessie. Luckily, her efforts paid off and she has since been put in touch with Jessie Filipponi, who works for Generic Towing & Auto Parts.

Filipponi says there were a lot of cars deserted in the ditch when he was driving down an icy and windy Highway 63 on December 10. However, he noticed one vehicle still had its lights on.
 
"I don't want to drive by and then find out somebody froze to death or something like that," he says. "I saw lights, so I just thought I'd check."
 
In an email to energeticcity.ca, Traserall writes that the wind had blown her car into the ditch, and some traffic passed by afterwards but weren't able to see her, and she wasn't able to climb the embankment to wave down help. She and her oldest daughter in the front seat were okay, but her youngest daughter had hit her head badly on the passenger side window and was bleeding. It was about fifteen minutes before she heard Filipponi calling. 
 
"I don't really remember too much," he admits. "I was just worried about the little girl. Seriously, that's all I cared about because I've got a four year old. She didn't even know her daughter was hurt; they were kind of in shock."
 
He helped Traserall and her eldest get out of the vehicle, and sent them to his car to get warm. What happened next is mostly a blur, but five minutes later he made it to the car with the youngest. He had made a tourniquet out of his jacket and shirt, and used part of her car seat as a neck brace.
 
"The little girl, she was hurt really bad, but she wasn't freaking out or anything. You kind of want them to be crying, they're feeling pain and you know they're okay, so I was worried, like maybe she's paralyzed."
 
After finally making it through to 9-1-1, paramedics arrived 30 minutes later. Luckily, he's learned that everyone is okay, although the young girl is still going to the hospital for checkups to deal with some swelling from a bad concussion. Filipponi says he's relieved that Traserall tried to find him, as he was unable to get an update on his own.
 
"I had no idea where they would be now, nobody would give me information," he explains. "I didn't even know her name or her last name. I just said, there's this accident with this girl. I couldn't find out anything."
 
The two have made plans to meet up later this month when Traserall visits with family at the Halfway First Nations Reserve, who have invited Filipponi and his daughters for a dinner.
 
"I don't know if this man saved my daughter's life or not, but I do know he cared and didn't think for a second about helping," writes Traserall. "This man needs to be recognized and I would like to thank him as we were taken to the hospital and never saw him again."
 
Although he's being hailed as a hero, Filipponi says he simply hopes someone would do the same if it was his family.
 
"If that was my wife and kids down there, I hope somebody would stop and do the same thing, because I wouldn't want them to just drive by."

Comments

Have something you'd like to add? Read our comment policy by clicking here.

About Erica Fisher 4010 Articles

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.