11-year-old boy helps rescue his family from truck after rollover crash

·2 min read

Not many people would expect an 11-year-old boy to perform a rescue operation as well as someone twice his age.

But much to his family's surprise — and gratitude — Prince George, B.C., sixth-grader Finnley Goddard turned superhero when he helped save his parents and brother from a vehicle crash off Highway 97 on Saturday.

The Goddards' Toyota truck was making a hairpin turn when it hit an embankment amid icy conditions and rolled over into a field near Hixon, B.C.

The vehicle ended up on its side, with the passenger side against the ground.

"All the side airbags went off, all the glass broke," Finnley's mother Kristi Goddard told Sarah Penton, host of CBC's Radio West. "Pretty bloody scary."

Kristi Goddard was in the passenger seat beside her husband Blake, who had been driving,

Dangling inside the car, the couple couldn't turn around and see how Finnley, sitting behind his dad, and his eight-year-old brother Oliver were doing. Making things worse, Blake Goddard wasn't able to open the door because it had been damaged.

"We just yelled out for them [the boys]… I just suddenly went into a full-on panic attack," Kristi Goddard said.

Finnley, it turned out, was doing just fine.

Submitted by Kristi Goddard
Submitted by Kristi Goddard

"I lifted the [rear driver-side] door up, my brother got unbuckled, [we] got out, then I closed the door," Finnley said on Radio West.

He said he then moved on to lift open the driver door, helping his father escape, before they pulled out his mom with help from farmers nearby who had heard the accident.

"I don't know where [Finnley] got the strength and the demeanour," said Goddard about her five feet tall, 60-pound son.

What impressed Goddard most was Finnley's composure during the ordeal.

"'You can do this, Mom, it's OK, you've got this,' and he just kept saying that to me," she recounted.

The Goddards are still recovering from the traumatic incident, which left them with numerous bruises and sore necks.

Although Finnley didn't go to school on Monday, his heroic act became well known to his classmates and teachers at Blackburn Elementary School after Goddard posted a Facebook message about his valour.

On Monday, the Prince George Cougars junior hockey team named Finnley its real-life hero of the week.

Despite all the acclaim, Finnley remains humble.

"I didn't want anyone to get hurt, so I stayed calm," Finnley said.

"I just took a deep breath and I tried not to freak out."

Tap the link below to listen to Kristi and Finnley Goddard's interview on Radio West: