Lexi Shymanski managed to climb up a steep 40-foot embankment in bare feet after the car she was traveling in with her mother plunged from the road, CBC reported.
Her mother, Angela, had been driving with Lexi and baby brother, Peter, home to Prince George, British Columbia, from Alberta, where they had been on vacation. Relaxing music was playing for the kids and Angela fell asleep at the wheel.
Lexi woke and heard her 9-week-old brother crying. She could not wake her mother.
“She woke up and got out of her five-point harness, which she had only done once before, and she just climbed up the embankment to the highway and flagged somebody down,” Angela told CBC.
“I thought, ‘What would Mommy say if she was awake ... Mommy would say go get help’,” Lexi said when asked how she managed to climb up such a steep embankment, according to CBC.
Fortunately, Lexi stopped Richard Nowicki, a former firefighter, who was able to offer urgently needed assistance. He climbed down the embankment to the crash.
“It looked like the vehicle had rolled at least once, maybe twice,” Nowicki told CTV. “It was very steep and full of big boulders.”
Angela had fractures in her neck and back and required CPR at the scene. She also had internal injuries. Peter had head injuries.
The fact that Nowicki was trained as a paramedic was important, because many untrained people would have tried to remove Angela from the car. Due to her injuries, such an attempt would have made things much worse.
Angela spent some time in a wheelchair.
Lexi avoided serious injury, but Angela explained the 5-year-old was still having nightmares about the incident several weeks later.
Lexi was subsequently awarded a bronze medal from the Royal Canadian Humane Society. She is the youngest ever recipient of the award. She said she would bring it to school for show and tell.
Sources: CBC, CTV / Photo credit: Mad World News