WINNIPEG — A family from Los Angeles is searching for a Manitoba man to say “thank you”, after the stranger pulled their car from a ditch on a deserted highway in the Boxing Day blizzard.
Oleg Tcherkas, his wife, and their 10-month-old son were driving on Highway 75 near Glenlea at 3 a.m. Monday, when their vehicle lost control and landed in a ditch.
“I was just sliding down there and honestly, I couldn’t do anything,” Tcherkas said.
The vehicle was buried in snow, and Tcherkas said there was no one around.
“It was just a white blanket without anything out there.”
He said he kept the car running to keep warm, and called his friends who were waiting in North Kildonan for him to arrive.
“We were on pins and needles knowing he has his wife and baby boy in the car,” Tcherkas’ friend Terri Kehler said.
In a panic, Kehler said she called a tow company and Manitoba RCMP, but she said the vehicles couldn’t make it to Tcherkas’ location.
The family waited in the car for more than two hours, with no sign of anyone driving by, said Tcherkas.
“Just stay in the car, clear the exhaust and wait for help.”
Remaining calm, Tcherkas decided to take a nap to catch up on sleep. He said he was startled and woken up by a stranger knocking on his car window.
“I remember the guy, that friendly face,” said Tcherkas.
The man attached the car to his pickup truck, and pulled the family out of the snow. But before the family could thank him, he drove off. Now Tcherkas is asking for help, to try and track the stranger down, and say a proper thank you.
“I thanked him once, but I want to say it again. He’s my guardian angel.”