Foymount – As former Bonnechere Valley Township Fire Chief and Opeongo Road resident Morley Kosmack recovers from some aches and pains he sustained in a single-vehicle crash near Dacre last Tuesday, one question keeps nagging away at him.
Why did the air bags in his 2016 Dodge pickup not go off?
Mr. Kosmack and his wife, Anna, were returning from Renfrew around 12 noon when his westbound truck, pulling a small utility trailer, left a straight stretch of Highway 132, near the Hey. 41 intersection, crossed the highway, went through the ditch and struck a hydro pole.
The pole was snapped, hydro lines came down and so did a transformer which struck the roof on the passenger’s side.
While Mrs. Kosmack continues to recover from a fractured sternum, caused from the seatbelt, he is still amazed at why the air bags did not deploy. Even police officers and First Responders were surprised.
“I told my insurance company and if they aren’t going to do anything, I guess I am going to go after Dodge,” he said, adding he has seen air bags go off in much less serious collisions. “Everybody I talk to said they should have gone off. No one could believe the air bags didn’t go off.”
Mr. Kosmack is also grateful to everyone who responded to the crash. He is particularly grateful to a man riding a motorcycle who was first on scene. He assumes he was the one who called 911.
“I’d like to find out who it was because I really appreciate someone like that,” he said. “He was pointing not to get out of truck.
“But we knew that ourselves, from our years on the fire department, but he stood there all the while and motioned.”
Mr. Kosmack said the transformer burnt a hole in the passenger side of the truck. When asked if they were worried during the wait, Mr. Kosmack said he was more worried about his wife and her chest injury.
The couple was trapped in the vehicle for about an hour until a Hydro One crew arrived and disconnected electricity. They were then removed from the vehicle and taken to Renfrew Victoria Hospital. Mr. Kosmack was released late in the day, but Mrs. Kosmack was kept in hospital.
The couple’s pet dog, Bowser, a lab, also received some cuts in the crash.
It was a beautiful fall day and the warm sunshine soon made it warm in the truck. Despite wanting to open one of the windows to let in fresh air, Mr. Kosmack said he wasn’t taking any chances opening a window.
“I didn’t know if the ground was electrified,” he said.
An Ornge Air Ambulance also arrived at the scene and landed nearby, but their services weren’t required.
Mr. Kosmack said he was appreciative of the fast response of emergency services, adding there wasn’t much anyone could do until the hydro crews arrived.
The couple had taken a load of scrap steel to Renfrew and were returning home at the time of the mishap.
While the Kosmacks have themselves responded to many serious highway crashes during their lengthy careers on both the Sebastopol and Bonnechere Valley Township fire departments, he said he never thought he would be in a situation where he required emergency services.
“I’d just like to thank the people who did stop,” he said. “I was surprised with the traffic on the road, it was really heavy that day. I was just lucky when I crossed the highway there wasn’t another vehicle coming. My son Tim said I won the lottery.”
The 2016 Dodge was written off.