An elderly Winnipeg man is in stable condition in hospital after being struck and dragged about 50 feet by a semi-trailer while crossing Portage Avenue at Berry Street.
Emergency crews used an inflatable device to lift the truck off the victim after he was hit shortly after noon. Witnesses say he appeared to be between 85-90 years old and used a walker.
John Peron, a long-time employee of Canadian Super Shop just across from the collision scene said the man was known to him as "Hank," and he moved very slowly, in tiny shuffling steps.
The victim was crossing the four eastbound lanes of the street at the controlled intersection and had made it about halfway when he was struck. Peron said he ran to a nearby firehall for help.
"He ended up just in front of the truck as the light turned green," said witness Ellen Gale, 72.
Gale was driving east in the lane adjacent to the median and said all traffic was stopped at a red light. She pulled away when the light changed, noticed a commotion behind her and pulled over to see what was happening.
"Nobody was speeding, everybody was just crawling from a red light to a green light," Gale said. She surmised the victim was right in front of the large, elevated cab of the semi when he was hit.
"There's no way (the truck driver) could have seen him," Gale said. The victim was conscious, talking and moving his hands just after the crash, she said. The truck driver was "shaken" over what had happened, she said.
Traffic collision analysts remained at the scene until around 5 p.m. Eastbound lanes on Portage Ave. have since reopened.