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Corner Brook taxi driver saw lights coming before fatal collision

Jonathan Hardy was driving the Birchy Cabs van involved in fatal collision with a snowmobile at Humber Valley Resort on Sunday.
Jonathan Hardy was driving the Birchy Cabs van involved in fatal collision with a snowmobile at Humber Valley Resort on Sunday.

Jonathan Hardy's mother would often say that you don’t know how your day is going to begin or how it will end.

That was certainly the case for the 51-year-old driver with Birchy Cabs when a snowmobile collided head-on with the van he was driving at Humber Valley Resort on Sunday morning.

The driver of the snowmobile, 21-year-old Justyn Pollard from the Conception Bay South area, died of injuries sustained in the collision. A 26-year-old male passenger on the snowmobile suffered a number of broken bones.

Hardy has been driving with Birchy Cabs since October, but has driven taxi on and off for 20 years.

He went out to Marble Mountain to drop off a trip early Sunday morning and while there picked up another. His five passengers were headed to the Humber Valley Resort, about 15 kilometres away.

RELATED:

'Police won’t say if alcohol, speed contributed to fatal crash at Humber Valley Resort'

At around 4 a.m. Hardy pulled the van into the road leading to the resort and just before entering the bridge he could see a light coming toward him.

Whatever was coming, it was in his lane and Hardy contemplated pulling into the other lane but felt the safest thing to do was to stop and wait for it to pass.

“It was coming so fast, I just locked up the van with the brakes and just pulled her over to the side,” he said. “And I didn’t know nothing before something hit the windshield and went up over the van.”

The force from the impact activated the air bags in the van. When Hardy got out he noticed the windshield had been smashed and then saw two people, one of whom was Pollard, laying in the road. There was also a snowmobile up on its side.

He went to check on them.

One said he was OK, but didn’t know about the other one.

In shock and having sustained a neck injury, Hardy sat in the back of the van while his passengers tended to Pollard and the other man until paramedics arrived.

Hardy didn’t find out that Pollard died until Sunday evening and said it’s been playing on his mind ever since.

“When I go to bed at night that’s all I see.”

His fiancée has told him she’s heard him crying in his sleep and talking about it. “Obviously, it’s playing on my mind.”

The fact the collision is the topic of conversation wherever he goes, only makes it worse, he said with a deep sigh.

He agrees sharing his story might help with some of the questions others have, but it doesn’t stop his own.

It was the first accident he’s ever had.

“I’m a very cautious driver, when I’m driving and I see everything that’s on the go. I will drive again, but I’m not in no hurry for it.”

 

dcrocker@thewesternstar.com

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

That was certainly the case for the 51-year-old driver with Birchy Cabs when a snowmobile collided head-on with the van he was driving at Humber Valley Resort on Sunday morning.

The driver of the snowmobile, 21-year-old Justyn Pollard from the Conception Bay South area, died of injuries sustained in the collision. A 26-year-old male passenger on the snowmobile suffered a number of broken bones.

Hardy has been driving with Birchy Cabs since October, but has driven taxi on and off for 20 years.

He went out to Marble Mountain to drop off a trip early Sunday morning and while there picked up another. His five passengers were headed to the Humber Valley Resort, about 15 kilometres away.

RELATED:

'Police won’t say if alcohol, speed contributed to fatal crash at Humber Valley Resort'

At around 4 a.m. Hardy pulled the van into the road leading to the resort and just before entering the bridge he could see a light coming toward him.

Whatever was coming, it was in his lane and Hardy contemplated pulling into the other lane but felt the safest thing to do was to stop and wait for it to pass.

“It was coming so fast, I just locked up the van with the brakes and just pulled her over to the side,” he said. “And I didn’t know nothing before something hit the windshield and went up over the van.”

The force from the impact activated the air bags in the van. When Hardy got out he noticed the windshield had been smashed and then saw two people, one of whom was Pollard, laying in the road. There was also a snowmobile up on its side.

He went to check on them.

One said he was OK, but didn’t know about the other one.

In shock and having sustained a neck injury, Hardy sat in the back of the van while his passengers tended to Pollard and the other man until paramedics arrived.

Hardy didn’t find out that Pollard died until Sunday evening and said it’s been playing on his mind ever since.

“When I go to bed at night that’s all I see.”

His fiancée has told him she’s heard him crying in his sleep and talking about it. “Obviously, it’s playing on my mind.”

The fact the collision is the topic of conversation wherever he goes, only makes it worse, he said with a deep sigh.

He agrees sharing his story might help with some of the questions others have, but it doesn’t stop his own.

It was the first accident he’s ever had.

“I’m a very cautious driver, when I’m driving and I see everything that’s on the go. I will drive again, but I’m not in no hurry for it.”

 

dcrocker@thewesternstar.com

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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