Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Samaritan still has his bicycle

Woman had prayed for man after accident

  • Print
John Sawchuk suffered multiple injuries last Saturday when he crashed his bicycle while training for a triathlon. The damaged bike is now missing.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

John Sawchuk suffered multiple injuries last Saturday when he crashed his bicycle while training for a triathlon. The damaged bike is now missing. Photo Store

John Sawchuk is praying for the safe return of his $3,000 racing bicycle after a woman who prayed by his side at an accident scene Saturday left with his bike and a promise to return it.

The bike is still missing. It has been four days since Sawchuk, 65, was injured on the Centreport Canada Way highway across from The Player's Course golf course when he hit a one-metre-wide unmarked break in the concrete pavement near a construction zone and was thrown from his bike.

The woman was one of at least four Good Samaritans who stopped to help Sawchuk as he lay injured on the side of the highway.

"She asked if she could pray for me; she knelt down and loudly prayed. The ambulance got there shortly after that," Sawchuk said.

He was told the woman offered to take the bike when the paramedics said it could not be transported in the ambulance.

"I thought she had my wife's cellphone number, because I heard a few people repeating it," Sawchuk said. "But we were out on a road, it was very loud with all the traffic, so I don't really know if people were writing it down or just tried to commit it to memory."

Sawchuk, a triathlon competitor, was on a training ride as he is preparing to represent Canada at the 2014 International Triathlon Union world championships in Edmonton from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2. He was travelling at a speed of about 40 km/h when he hit the hole. He said the bike was damaged as its front forks (which hold the wheel) were snapped off in the crash.

"It's not the typical bike you'd ride around on, it has a lot of modifications and it's basically designed to go straight and fast," Sawchuk said. "That's why I think she might have lost our contact information. There's not really much you can do with it if you're not racing on it. And the bike is broken."

The bicycle is a Cervélo -- a high-end specialty bicycle specifically designed for triathlon and time-trial cycling events. A light, aerodynamic unit with a carbon-fibre frame, it is equipped with racing pedals and an aerobar handlebar for racing speeds.

Cervélo bikes are only sold in two places in Manitoba -- Alter Ego Sports in Winnipeg and A & L in Brandon.

Sawchuk said he found out the condition of the bike through photos taken at the scene by a man named Gerald, who was the first person to stop as Sawchuk lay injured. Gerald called 911 and Sawchuk's wife, Sigrid. The next day, Gerald contacted Sawchuk to see how he was doing, emailed photos he took at the scene and told Sawchuk about the woman picking up his bike and saying she'd return it.

Other people who stopped included a female nursing student who held Sawchuk's hand and comforted him and a man who placed a jacket over his legs as he began to shake when shock set in.

"I'm extremely grateful to all the people who helped me, and I thanked them as best I could. I had trouble talking because I was short of breath, maybe from the shock," said Sawchuk, who was examined in hospital and released. He will have a lengthy recovery. He has broken bones in his cheek, damaged ribs and bruises and scrapes to his shoulders and arms.

"My helmet saved me more serious injuries, and I consider myself fortunate to have only sustained the injuries that I received," he said.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2014 A2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The greening of Elphaba the Wicked Witch in Wicked

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do high-profile endorsements for political candidates influence your voting decisions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google