'I don't think I'm a hero,' SUV driver who used his car to save pedestrians humbled by experience
MONTREAL – Erick Marciano is being called a hero after he used his SUV to block a speeding car from potentially ramming into a dozen pedestrians on René-Lévesque Boulevard.
It happened at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Montreal police had pulled over a 19-year-old driver on the busy boulevard, near Berri Street.
“[I saw] a car going westbound. He burned a stop sign halfway, regretted it, backed up, but he was next to a policeman,” Marciano recalled.
He says the man chatted with the officer for a minute before the vehicle took off.
Two blocks later, “the policemen kind of cornered him into a snowbank. They got out of their car, pulled their guns; he managed to back up and make a really aggressive U-turn,” Marciano said.
A police chase ensued.
“I could see what exactly was happening. He was driving really, really fast,” Marciano said, adding that because it was lunchtime, there were a lot of people on the streets.
“I decided to just put my car in his way to stop him. He went right through my car.”
The father of three estimates he had milliseconds to process what he was seeing.
“I was just thinking of the pedestrians that had to go home that night and I figured that it was something I had to do,” he told CTV News.
“I don’t think I’m a hero. I did what I had to do. If I was put in that situation again, I would not hesitate to do it again.”
He says he managed to honk his horn and jump out of his vehicle “literally a second before he hit me.”
The force of the collision shattered the front bumpers of both cars. A third vehicle, a taxi, was also damaged.
Marciano says he thought of his wife and three children throughout the whole ordeal, adding that they’re proud of him – but definitely think he’s crazy.
The experience, he adds, has been humbling.
“It’s always nice to be recognized. It wasn’t at all my intention, but it’s always nice to receive a compliment,” he said.
“They [the police] were very, very thankful, surprisingly thankful and very polite and nice.”
Marciano admits he’s a little sad his Mercedes SUV, which he’s had for 10 years, was totalled, but adds his car insurance company is willing to pay for the damage.
“It’s just metal. It really doesn’t matter,” he said. “Anything but life is replaceable.”
The 19-year-old suspect was taken to hospital following the accident to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.