When Erick Marciano saw a runaway car go through a red light followed by police, he made a split-second decision that potentially saved the lives of pedestrians and construction workers nearby—he turned his SUV into a barrier protecting them from the speeding car.
“He was trapped in a snowbank, police had their guns out, he managed to get out, made a quick U-turn…and I saw he was going crazy, speeding toward the crowd,” said Marciano. “There were pedestrians, construction workers, I honked, people moved to the side and I blocked his passage. I guess he rammed into me.”
“I didn’t want him to hurt anybody,” Marciano told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak. “I figured, sacrificing a car was really no big deal. And that’s what I did.”
Erick Marciano was stopped in his SUV when he saw a runaway car go blazing through a red light, followed by police in hot pursuit.— CBC Montreal (@CBCMontreal) November 13, 2019
As the car made a U-turn and sped toward pedestrians, he decided to block the lane, putting himself in danger.
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Marciano swerved his car over the median, blocking the lane and the people nearby from the speeding car, which slammed into the passenger side of his SUV. Only the suspect was injured.
“It came into my mind, I said: ‘this isn’t going to happen here,'” Marciano said.
The Montreal hero said he wasn’t thinking of his own safety. He was confident that his truck would be able to withstand the impact of the other car.
“I figured, he had a Honda, and there was no way he was going over the median. For me, that was the safest thing to do,” said Marciano. “What matters is the outcome, and everything’s well, and everybody could go home last night.”
The driver of the speeding car was arrested for dangerous driving, impaired driving, failing to stop for police, driving a stolen vehicle, assault with a weapon, driving with a suspended license and breaking conditions.
The suspect’s mother attended the court appearance and explained that her 19-year-old son has struggled with mental health issues since he was a child. She thanked Marciano for intervening and implored the government to take mental health issues more seriously.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante tweeted her thanks Wednesday morning, saying that Marciano’s “heroic gesture saved the lives of many pedestrians.”
Marciano’s car was damaged in the collision, but the insurance company told him they were not holding him responsible.
“It’s been intense, I’ve had a lot of people calling me to talk about this, I’ve gotten a lot of attention in the media and it makes me a little uncomfortable,” Marciano said. “I didn’t do this to be recognized, I just did what anyone would have done.”