Angel With a Lantern: 80-year-old man braves blizzard to rescue people stranded in their cars
[Feb 9, 2022: Mavic Thompson]
80-year-old, Andre Bouvier Sr., was an "angel with a lantern" for a woman and three others whose cars were stuck during a blizzard dubbed a Saskatchewan Screamer. The rescuer walked for half a kilometer, despite his wife's concern for his safety, as he could not start his tractor.
The elderly rescuer also found three other vehicles, making it a total of seven people that he rescued. He walked the quarter-mile four times and led the stranded cars one by one to his home.
Stuck in the snow for 14 hours
Shannon St. Onge thought he had enough time to finish her errands before the gloomy weather forecast. On her Facebook, Shannon shared that the blizzard was expected at 7 PM, so at 3 PM, she thought she still could do a quick errand and return to her home before the blizzard started. She was a director of finance at the First Nations University of Canada, and she needed to sign a check which required her to drive 15 miles from her home in Pense.
She grabbed takeout for her kids, filled her gas tank, replaced her broken charger, and headed home at around 5:30 PM.
However, as she was heading home, the snow began to fall, so she took a dirt road to improve the traction on her tires, CBC reported. However, she could not see through the road with the snowstorm raging. She stopped and called 911, but the operator said she wait out the storm as her tank was full and warm.
The 911 operator assured her that an officer would call her back. However, after waiting for 14 hours, she still has not heard from the responders.
As a single mom with kids alone at home, she became worried that her gas tank might not last until morning or another vehicle might hit her.
Determined to leave the area, she tried to navigate and discovered her location on a road sign. She then pinned her location on Google maps and posted it on a community Facebook page to try and find out the owner of the farm that she is stranded.
The Facebook community members then knew who the owner was and reached out to the family.
The 80-year old angel in a lantern
Minutes later, the owner, Andre Bouvier Sr, walked with his lantern to get Shannon and guided her to his house, and walked out again to save others, who were also stranded.
Bouvier and his wife welcomed the strangers in their home and gave them food, blankets, pillows, and a warm place to stay for a few hours. When the visitors woke up at 5 AM, Bouvier had already plowed the driveway. At 5:30 in the morning, the stranded cars made a convoy and headed back to town.
In the end, Shannon made it home to her kids and made new friends despite the blizzard, thanks to the 80-year-old man.
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Note: Materials provided above by Mavic Thompson. Content may be edited for style and length.
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