OTTAWA — It would have been quite the thing to be walking down Junction Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, when a taxi cab with three people inside revved its engine, went up and over a grassy hill, smashed through a few tress while airborne, then crashed spectacularly into a parked BMW.
Indeed, paramedics called it “a unique accident,” and it’s little wonder.
The 36-year-old man driving the taxi had just picked up two people — a 42-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man — on Sawmill Private near the Airport Parkway and Heron Road minutes before the crash. His passengers reported to paramedics that he went into a seizure when he approached Brookfield Road just metres away, slammed his foot down on the gas pedal, and then accelerated onto Junction Avenue.
But the taxi didn’t just slam into the BMW after sailing through the air and crashing through trees. Instead, the force of the impact somehow flipped the BMW onto its roof, and the taxi, incredibly, landed right on top of it, right-side up.
“I’ve been doing this for 21 years now, and this was one call where I just had to do a double-take,” said paramedic superintendent Paul Morneau. “This is definitely one of those calls that is extremely interesting.”
The incident didn’t stop when the taxi landed on top of the flipped BMW.
The driver, still in seizure, kept his foot pressed down hard on the gas pedal and so the tires kept spinning, getting hotter and hotter and sending out plumes of smoke. Morneau said that because of all the smoke, some of the first 911 calls reported that there was a house fire in the area.
The 29-year-old owner of the BMW rushed out of the home he was visiting to help, paramedics said, when the left front tire of the taxi exploded, sending shrapnel flying into his face.
“Luckily, no one was seriously hurt,” Morneau said. “Even the cab driver will be OK. He had a medical condition, but it’s a treatable medical condition.”
When all was said and done five people were assessed and treated by paramedics, but only the taxi driver was taken to hospital.
The female passenger suffered a few cuts to her face and refused to be taken to hospital, as did the male passenger, who suffered a few leg cuts. The BMW owner also refused to be taken to hospital despite the cuts on his face.
A bystander who tried to get the people out of the taxi by slamming his elbow into the window was assessed and treated at the scene for a minor elbow injury.
“These two poor people in the back,” Morneau said, chuckling just for a moment. “It’s like out of Hollywood.”