Medicine Hat Media

How the RCMP Was Going to Let Me Die…

The following is a story by Matt Reeves posted on to Facebook yesterday recounting his near brush with death while being stranded on the blizzard-filled highway, last night. There is rough and “colourful” language here and this is an exact verbatim of his original note, posted here with permission. -Vaughn

*Edit* Medicine Hat News article

Matt Reeves writes:

How I and my basset hound almost died Saturday… YES quite literally almost died Saturday… THANKS RCMP BROOKS… I mean USELESS ORGANIZATION OF MORALLY BANKRUPT GOVERNMENT PAID THUGS

Today (Saturday the 8th of January 2011) I made the mistake of attempting to drive from Calgary to Medicine Hat… at 35 – 60kph depending on conditions… driving cautiously… and I did pretty well at that speed most of the trip. Really I did!!!

At 5PM I fishtailed and then skidded into the ditch north of Suffield only going 35kph and stuck the front of the jeep in four feet of snow… tried forward and reverse with zero movement… totally and completely stuck. I got out to see how badly stuck I was and got snow up to my crotch and then snow blown with what felt like a -40 wind chill factor. Got back in the jeep due to freezing cold. Now was soaking wet and really cold.

Called 911 (who you call when you need assistance right?) and was transferred to the Brooks RCMP Dispatch who asked my location and then flat out told me they were not going to dispatch anyone because it was too dangerous on the roads?!?!??!?!?!?!?!!??!?!!?!? Call a tow truck. Im thinking Ummmmm… ok just letting you know I crashed and need help Sir… Dont you get paid to serve and protect… ? By like… me and everyone else I know? Thanks for nothing and all your helpful suggestions officer but in fact they were next on my list. Really.

I called AMA and got the robot which wants you to leave your number and they will call you back in “45 mins”. Hmmmm gotta wait… Called Medicine Hat Auto Spa who told me there was a towing ban due to poor conditions of the road. Called my girlfriend and family to let them know I survived a car crash into the ditch. Texted back and forth with my girl and my family for 45 mins.

Jerrod from AMA calls me back and tells me they are trying to dispatch tow trucks to my area but that there is a towing ban in effect and that the trans Canada highway has been closed between Brooks and Medicine Hat and that they are trying their best to get anyone to me for a tow.

By 6PM the heat ceased to work in the jeep and shortly afterwards the engine died (talk about from bad to worse right?) so I called the RCMP again to update my status as lost the engine and no heat and becoming more dire… they still insisted that despite the new potential of my freezing to death that there would not be any officers dispatched and that I should “remain where I was until the storm passed” and then someone would be along. Checked the weather service on my iPhone and the storm was to die down by midnight… oh SHIT!!! Now what?

In between calls to the authorities my Moms friend Kay calls me up and tells me that they have a vehicle that could potentially pull me out but that they cant even see their own driveway next to the house and she will try to get ahold of Willies towing. Cool but I figured they were under the towing ban too right … ?!??!

Jerrod from AMA called me back to check on my status and I told him about the engine dying and not heat so he gave me instructions not to fall asleep if I got cold… they really know their shit and it makes me think they must train their people well if he is an AMA dispatcher yet knows about the effects of hypothermia. Cool guy… caught my reference to cutting open a taun taun and get inside to keep warm.

Called back to RCMP to tell them it was getting really, really cold, that I was feeling sleepy and I know thats bad and that they were very soon going to be recovering two bodies, 1 human and 1 basset hound from a jeep stuck at the side of the road and they assured me there certainly wasnt any way they could possibly get to me tonight and that I should call a towing service to which they supplied me with 3 numbers out of Brooks… all of which were under a towing ban due to the road conditions… they also pointed out there were 25 vehicles in the ditch who were also waiting for help (or death) then the guy tells me that the road is closed and gives me shit for trying to drive it… well thanks a frikken lot for informing the weather network, posting signs or blocking the roads with flashing lights for drivers who are already on the road when the road gets officially closed you pricks!!!!! Really Officer?

I had one guy who was travelling the other direction stop, run across the median and check on me who tried to see if he could dig me out with a shovel but no avail with that amount of hard pack so he gave me some spare coveralls he had and told me he would continuously call the RCMP to get them to come out to me.

At this point its minus 20 in the jeep and getting colder… the basset hound is shivering more than I was and there really isnt any hope of getting any help. So once again I call 911 and get transferred once again to the Brooks RCMP… who cannot seem to locate the report of my initial calls and they put an officer on who tells me that I had better report the accident to them if its over $2000 by Monday or the magistrate will put out a warrant for my arrest… Matts response – “Uh WHAT????!?!?!?! Who the fuck are you you ignorant fucking nugget of defecation? Im going to fucking freeze to death out here because you guys wont get off your fat fucking asses to come out albeit slowly and cautiously in one of your RCMP sports utility vehicles that I help pay for to my rescue before I fucking DIE? Get me help NOW! I cant feel anything below my knees and I can barely hold my cell to dial you up so HELP! Now! You cant even find a record of my first 3 calls? WTF? Now you are telling me you only serve and protect if it isnt too cold out? You are seriously telling me that I have a better chance of getting help from Canada Post? AND yer gonna charge my frozen corpse because my soul leaves the scene of an accident? What is your name again?” …. he responds with “… (pause) We will be dispatching emergency services to those who need them when it is safe to do so. (click-hangs up on me). WTF? Did an officer of the law just hang up on my skinny frozen future corpse ass? Really? So if you cant do your job and help protect the victim of an accident you threaten them? WHUT? Really Officer?

Now at this point folks Im pretty much convinced I may actually die out here… outside of Suffield? Really? No… Really?

I had given up on emergency services coming to my aid now and I crawl into the back of the jeep, curl up in the sleeping bag I always throw in the back for Potus the hound to sleep on for road trips… and start contemplating my fate. Every rare time a car or semi comes over the hill I jumped up and flashed the SOS signal with my lights but not one of them were the RCMP or tow trucks. I kept texting everyone for some time when I started to get really sleepy and delirious and I caught myself almost nodding off a few times… I kept picturing the RCMP opening up the trunk of the jeep the next day and finding a frozen hound and a human nerdsicle and having a laugh about it because they are desensitized to the personal affect of needless death on families and loved ones… “He he… this is the asshole who called in and told me to do my job… he he… got what he deserved… blah, oink, blah, oink”… then I thought I saw Obi Wan Kenobi who was telling me to go to the Dagobah system… then I started bequeathing my musical instruments to my Sisters family over text message. Texted my girlfriend and told her I loved her because I thought I would break down on a live phone call. Made a goodbye call to my Mom… noticed my Potus hound wasnt responding to me and his breathing was super deep… and I started to fall asleep.

I dont know if I was asleep exactly or what when my Moms friend Kay called me back and told me Willies Towing was just passing the 524 and were coming to find me!!!!! OMFG I cant believe it!!!! THEY had the goodwill in mind to do the job and save my freezing ass not the RCMP!!!!! I crawled up to the front seats and scraped the ice off the front window so I could see them coming and stood by on the SOS headlight signal… sure enough another half hour (9PM) and he was there and knew all about my situation and told me they would worry about the jeep tomorrow I was going to the hospital!!!!!! The driver pulled me out of the jeep and dragged me to his cab and loaded me up because I couldnt feel my lower legs nor walk… got Potus out and carried him and my two backpacks over to the truck and drove like hell to get me back to town with the heat cranked. It was literally minus 40 outside with the wind chill at a hundred miles an hour!!!! For Real!!! As is really!!!

I cannot express exactly how I felt once we were on our way because I was pretty foggy headed… enlightened with a new outlook? I dunno but I owe that guy my life!!! Joy and anger at the RCMP for not giving a flying fuck… about myself nor the 25 other stranded motorists some of which are probably still out there hopefully not dying right now due to gross negligence of our RCMP Brooks dispatch. For real!!

Jerrod from AMA called to make sure I hadnt dozed off and to see if someone came to get me and I really appreciated him making sure I lived. AMA really works even if the RCMP really doesnt.

I expected to see black toes when they took off my Vans and socks but I lucked out!!! They were completely white and numb and quite painful. I spent about an hour and a half at the Medicine Hat Hospital being treated for hypothermia (with many warm fuzzy blankets) until my core temp rose back up while Leane my awesome girlfriend and her Mom Angie drove Potus home to my house and fed him… and he is doing great!!! When Leane came back to the hospital to see me I was laughing hysterically to myself about the whole ordeal in a bed of the warmest blankets Ive ever had the pleasure of being wrapped in. No permanent damage!!!! Wuh Really?

I should be walking normally again in a day or two the Dr says and Potus is asleep on the couch under two blankets… I am a bit overwhelmed that I lived after I had truly thought I was going to freeze to death out there. Really.

I can count two times in my life where Ive almost died and the first was a ruptured appendix… which is operable… Freezing almost to death is preventable with the right dedication to emergency services and a little common moral decency and integrity to serve and protect the public. Oh WAIT… arent we all paying someone for that job already???? Really arent we?

I hereby move for a vote of no confidence in the integrity of the constabulary of the RCMP to serve and protect our public.

Matt Reeves aka recovering nerdsicle

User Comments

44 Responses to “How the RCMP Was Going to Let Me Die…”

  1. January 9th, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Mike says:

    Presently, 7PM Sunday (9 Jan2011) AMA is reporting Hwy 1 is closed. I don’t know if they barricade the Highway or if they can???? I just messaged a friend (Darin) from Brooks who messaged me this, a few minutes ago.

    “Traffic is still flowing east/west between Brooks and the Hat. I drove the highway for 10km and there is major blowing snow. I spoke to a Bison driver who said it took him 4 hours to go from Medicine Hat to Brooks. I spoke to a Trans-X driver who said Highway 36 is now closed. The barricade is 10 KM west of Brooks from what driverrs were saying. The Petro Canada has hundreds of trucks and their lot is totally full. There are another 3 or 4 dozen trucks parked on the highway by the Petro Canada as well. No barricades heading east…. there was traffic flowing… not much but it is flowing.”

  2. January 9th, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Gary says:

    Matt, I’m glad you’re safe.

    Why didn’t you go with the guy that gave you the extra coveralls?

  3. January 9th, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Kathy says:

    Good question Gary. Also – it is really important that when you decide to drive on less than ideal roads that you have an emergency kit and a lot of winter clothing..including boots…not Vans. I feel bad that you were in that position, but hopefully you learn to be a bit more careful. Too many people try to drive when we need to sit back and wait till the storm passes.

    I do not feel that emergency services need to put their lives at risks to save someone who put themselves in a dangerous situation. You put yourself at risk and that was your choice. Expecting someone else to also out their life at risk due to your poor decisions is selfish.

    Sorry I do not support you, but having a bunch of people out on a dangerous hwy is not going to make anything better!!

  4. January 9th, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    newguy says:

    Honestly i have 0 sympathy for this guy. If he was that much of an idiot to drive in those conditions.
    The roads were so unsafe that the highway maitence snow plows were told to stop working.
    If its so unsafe that the people that makes the roads safe cant work then you shouldnt be out there

    Rcmp and transportation alberta dont just put out travel advisories and close highways just for shits and giggles.

    Matt you are lucky to be alive it was your own stupidity that put you there and not the fault of rcmp or tow trucks or ama for putting you in that situation grow up act more reaponsible for your actions

  5. January 9th, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Ben Cook says:

    So I’m glad you’re safe, but you’re kind of a moron.

    A) If you know you’re driving in bad conditions prepare ahead of time.

    B) How many other people did you want to endanger exactly? You were an idiot & decided to drive in bad conditions, but it’s their fault for not defying a ban on all traffic because of safety reasons?

    C) Why the hell didn’t you try to catch a ride from the random cars & semis that you mention hoping were the RCMP?

    This mentality that the government should protect you from yourself is how we end up with moronic laws in the US like outlawing happy meals because some mom can’t tell her 400lb kid not to eat that 5th happy meal today.

  6. January 10th, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    aehiilrs says:

    Ditto the 4 posts above, and shame on you for making this a “fuck the police” story. Way to blame others for your stupid mistakes.

    Was your radio not working? Is that how you missed the warnings about the road?

    Were your eyes not working? Couldn’t you see that you couldn’t see?

    Or was your common sense off? Is that why you didn’t pull over in Brooks or Bassano or Strathmore when you realized that the roads were exceptionally shitty?

    I’m a cynical bastard if there ever was one, but even I will admit that if you’re in trouble — stranded by weather or mechanical problems — almost everyone will be willing to help. Stop in a town or at a farm. Knock on a door. Don’t try to drive in conditions as bad as that blizzard.

  7. January 10th, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Sean says:

    This just goes to show how an emergency kit would have been extremely beneficial. A couple of long lasting candles would have went a long way in a frigid vehicle.


    I had one guy who was travelling the other direction stop, run across the median and check on me who tried to see if he could dig me out with a shovel but no avail with that amount of hard pack so he gave me some spare coveralls he had and told me he would continuously call the RCMP to get them to come out to me.

    Whynot just go with him and have him drop you off in town? It may be the opposite direction, but it would have been a lot better than freezing.

    Glad to hear that you’re safe though, Matt.

  8. January 10th, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Melissa Whitney says:

    For all of you giving Matt crap about driving here’s my list
    A. The highway was open at the time he was driving
    B. When was the last time you were driving home and decided to pack an extra winter kit.
    C. Shame on you for making Matt out to be the bad guy here, irregardless of how you feel about Matt’s decision, the RCMP STILL refused to do their job, they are in the wrong here, not Matt, it’s a sad day when the RCMP won’t even respond to someone in a crisis… If someone had called them and said they were about to be killed in the middle of the highway they probably still wouldn’t have come.
    D. How often do you decide you are going to stay and not try o drive through the storm, I’ve driven through a lot of bad winter storms and there is the same amount of people on the highway and on city roads as their is on a summer day. How dare you judge him.

  9. January 10th, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Melissa Whitney says:

    For all of you giving Matt crap about driving here’s my list
    A. The highway was open at the time he was driving
    B. When was the last time you were driving home and decided to pack an extra winter kit.
    C. Shame on you for making Matt out to be the bad guy here, irregardless of how you feel about Matt’s decision, the RCMP STILL refused to do their job, they are in the wrong here, not Matt, it’s a sad day when the RCMP won’t even respond to someone in a crisis… If someone had called them and said they were about to be killed in the middle of the highway they probably still wouldn’t have come.
    D. How often do you decide you are going to stay and not try o drive through the storm, I’ve driven through a lot of bad winter storms and there is the same amount of people on the highway and on city roads as their is on a summer day. How dare you judge him.

  10. January 10th, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    George says:

    “I had one guy who was travelling the other direction stop, run across the median and check on me who tried to see if he could dig me out with a shovel but no avail with that amount of hard pack so he gave me some spare coveralls he had and told me he would continuously call the RCMP to get them to come out to me.”

    Pretty Simple…….Catch a ridefrom the guy that stopped..It is not the job of the RCMP to recue STUPID people!!!

  11. January 10th, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Aehiilrs says:

    A) so? Does he need someone to tell him when to go to the potty too?

    B) three weeks ago. I’m shocked people don’t pack a little extra when the weather might be bad.

    C) Firefighters will refuse to enter a building that’s too dangerous. Rescue boats won’t go out if the water is too dangerous. The RCMP refusal makes perfect sense.

    D) he did something stupid and is blaming everyone but himself. The reaction would be nowhere near as harsh if he had owned up to it and made it a cautionary tale.

  12. January 10th, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Dusty says:

    The winter kit is something that you leave in the car, it has things like a blanket and matches. Every vehicle should have one.

    If he believed the situation was so life-threatening, there is no excuse as to why he didn’t catch a ride with that guy. It’s like he wanted to be a martyr against the RCMP.

    Also, if you’ve ever taken CPR you’d know the first thing you do is always first look out for your own safety. We’re talking about someone else possibly getting into an accident where they’re not as lucky. When he called he probably said he’s really cold, which doesn’t sound like a crisis. I think the RCMP made a decent choice, if you were seriously going to die then the loved ones you have the ability to call would be willing to risk their neck for yours.

  13. January 10th, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Vaughn says:

    I think Aehiilrs is on to something here. I can excuse the guy for all the mistakes because he probably would do things differently in hind-sight as well. Let’s stop asking “why” “why” “why” after the fact.

    It’s the attitude/martyrdom that is at the heart of the issue.

  14. January 10th, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    kez777 says:

    Okay, I read through all these replies earlier and while I have known Matt for about 20 years, I agree he probably should not have taken a risk like that. But I am also in the world of reality where a lot of people have jobs that they need to get to if at all possible, especially in these economic times. I also know a family that spent 9 hours trying to get to Calgary yesterday because their child was supposed to have surgery there today that they have been waiting ages for. Things happen, we end up out on the roads for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes things go wrong. My issue is that other services spend a lot of time training for situations where people get into trouble and need rescuing ALL the time. My father was a former fire chief in the region and he trained continuously in all sorts of situations and they DO go into burning buildings to rescue people unless it is physically impossible for them to do so. They do not listen to people screaming inside and say ‘nah, I’m not going in there, I could get hurt.’ They will go in if there is a way to get in and will only stop if they absolutely cannot enter. And believe me, it kills them inside if they realize they cannot help someone.

    That is not what happened in this situation. Hundreds of motorists were stranded, including children who have no say in whether their parents travel or not, and we are supposed to sit back and say that the officers should not risk their lives???

    Just tonight on Chat Evening News, there was a piece showing our Fire Dept Aquatic Rescue Team out on the pond near the Leisure Center THIS WEEKEND despite the weather. They were honing their skills of rescuing people who fall through the ice. So – if I read the above comments correctly, our Aquatic Rescue team should not even bother going out on the ice and risking their lives because some dummy went out there despite the risk. Is that correct? If not – I would like to know why it would be any different.

    We have huge plows that could travel down the highway at intervals and have a gravel truck, and the RCMP and emergency services right along behind it to pick up stranded folks along the way, then come back in the same manner. Medicine Hat to Brooks, Brooks to Bassano, Bassano to Strathmore, Strathmore to Calgary – each municipality going out at the same time and returning. What’s so difficult about that? Weather like this happens every year yet we do not seem to have a contingency plan in place. Perhaps drivers shouldn’t be out on the roads but we cannot predict what each person’s reasons were. We should not judge, we should figure out a way to deal with this properly and safely.

    Besides, others keep saying that they should not risk their lives to help others! What? They are police officers with guns strapped to their waists. They can participate in high speed chases, they can fire their weapons, they can use tazers on civilians, they can be involved in a shoot-out, but they cannot drive down the TransCanada to check on or rescue stranded passengers in a snow storm. Something doesn’t fit right there.

  15. January 10th, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    kez777 says:

    *typo lol – stranded motorists

  16. January 10th, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Great points, kez777.

  17. January 10th, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    aehiilrs says:

    So what you’re saying is emergency workers who are trained for dangerous situations shouldn’t be allowed to make a judgement call? I’d be more inclined to trust their opinions since, as you said, they’re continuously trained for exactly this kind of thing.

    Also please notice I never said that the emergency services shouldn’t do dangerous things, just that they unfortunately have to make tough decisions. Cop cars and plows aren’t magically able to drive on icy roads and see in zero visibility conditions any better than civilian cars.

  18. January 10th, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Mike says:

    I don’t work at the 911 call centre, but I would hazard a guess that a good portion of the calls are the result of people doing things that are probably lacking good sense. I would venture that some drunk and senselessly stupid variety would be in the mix as well. Wouldn’t emergency dispatchers be anticipating situations such as Matt’s this past weekend?? Also, I believe Matt admitted it was a bad idea.

    I’d like to point out the part of the Brooks RCMP should be more subject for discussion. Why couldn’t a request for support from CFB Suffield be initiated. The duty officer’s phone number is in the call centres list of numbers. That’s just off the top of my head. Strathmore dispatched a bus to pick up motorists from the TCH all the way to Gleichen.

    I’m not suggesting that anyone put their own life in jeopardy. That’s a ridiculous argument. I just expect Responders to 911 calls to have better problem solving skills.

  19. January 10th, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    aehiilrs says:

    Mike – Put that way, it’s a much more convincing argument. The problem is that there’s no way to know what was going on from their side. The story was written from one (very nasty) viewpoint. I seriously doubt the “USELESS ORGANIZATION OF MORALLY BANKRUPT GOVERNMENT PAID THUGS” was sitting and laughing at everyone stuck in the snow waiting to oink over their frosty corpses in the morning

    And yeah, he does mention it being a mistake. The utter lack of humility in the rest of the story makes it ring hollow.

    Random old guy rambling story mode: two years ago thanks to the same bad decision I was driving down the QE2 in near whiteout conditions. I counted six police cars and a few large vans/small busses in the ditch between Innisfall and Airdrie. Shit was scary and I don’t know how it ever got completely cleaned up.

  20. January 11th, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    c.b. says:

    Use your head and stay off the road.You not only put your life at risk but the lives of the other nuts on the road and also the life of your dog. duh

  21. January 11th, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Dusty says:

    CFB Suffield Military Police don’t cover civilian problems, if you’re badly injured you have to go to Medicine Hat emergency. I’ve known them not to care about peoples problems since their job is to keep people out.

  22. January 11th, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Dave says:
  23. January 11th, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    rene says:

    unless its a matter of life and death stay the hell at home what is wrong with people these days not to many smarts!!!!!!

  24. January 11th, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Erin Frank (Matt's Sister) says:

    Let me tell you what it was like to be on the phone with my brother while he was freezing to death. I have never felt so helpless in my life. As he slipped in and out of consciousness during our last conversation that night, I was terrified of the thought of him dying such a painful and needless death. Was that really the last hug when he left today? I started to panic when he told me Potus wouldn’t wake up anymore. I had to say “I love you” and “Goodbye” not knowing if I would ever get to speak to him again. I was so angry with myself for letting him leave my house that day and I never would have forgiven myself had this ended differently.

    Matt cut his visit short with me and my family in Calgary so he could get back to Medicine Hat before the storm got too bad. We sat together and checked the highway conditions which at the time were not bad. The highways were listed as Fair on the AMA website other than one small stretch that was listed in Poor condition. We all know the saying “Hindsight is 20/20” and there is no question he made a mistake that day, but he didn’t deserve to be left to die.

    Before you pass judgment, know that Matt is a very smart, kind and loving person and that maybe, just maybe, the RCMP made a bad call by not dispatching someone to save his life. I realize the RCMP have limited resources and there were a lot of people who needed help, but to call 911 in your most desperate hour and have the person on the other end not only refuse to help but reprimand you for making a mistake! Matt was only a few kilometers from Suffield; there had to be something they could have done. I’ve spent my entire life admiring the work of the fine men and women of the RCMP; you can now add my name to the long list of people who have lost confidence in their commitment to serve and protect.

    On behalf of my husband Darcy, my son and daughter Owen and Peytyn, and myself, I extend our most heartfelt thanks to Willie Langille and Ken Raasch from Willie’s Towing for braving the conditions to save my big brother. You truly are heroes and if the world were filled with more people like you, it would be a better place.

  25. January 11th, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    anon says:

    I mean no offense whatsoever, this was just a question in my head.

    His friends and family are here to stand up for him, did anyone make an attempt to do something at the time?

  26. January 11th, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    gary says:

    Just because a person is smart, kind and loving doesn’t make it the RCMP’s job to perform that type of rescue. Just because a fire department in another jurisdiction does water rescue training around the same time (with proper safety precautions in a controlled situation) doesn’t make it the RCMP’s job to perform rescues.

    Why isn’t he blaming the AMA for listing the highway as being in fair condition? Why didn’t he take the opportunity to head out with the gentleman who stopped to offer help?

    If I got stranded in a non life or death situation, the first thing I would do is hop in with another motorist.

    This could be a situation where nobody deserves any blame, but for sure the RCMP isn’t at fault.

  27. January 11th, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Dusty Melling says:

    “RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Patrick Webb told the News there were more than 100 vehicles stranded on the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Medicine Hat that night. He said it was simply impossible for the RCMP to respond to them all, because the highway was so treacherous and many members were stuck themselves.”

    I read about an individual who was alone in his truck for 16 hours, as well as other situations with babies on board. This brings up the issue of priorities.

    As for a previous comment, “we are supposed to sit back and say that the officers should not risk their lives???” It says that “many [RCMP] members were stuck themselves”, so they did take action, and they did risk their own lives. Given this information I don’t see what else anyone could have expected from the RCMP.

  28. January 12th, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    LogicDoesntRule says:

    For everyone who blamed Matt for not having an emergency kit, for driving when there was a storm on the way, and for everything else do you Always carry an emergency kit? Do You refuse to leave your house if there Might be a bad storm?
    Please don’t delude yourselves into thinking that if that was you on the highway dying you would make One phone call to the RCMP, be told they weren’t going to help you, and say “Ok, I am fine with dying here alone on the side of the road today”. If that was Your child/ parent/ spouse/ friend on the side of the road in a dangerous situation are you saying that You would be ok with the authorities Refusing to go out??? I know I wouldn’t be ok with that. Evereyone in that situation would lay blame elsewhere, and Everyone would expect a rescue.
    Whether you admit it publicly or not, please be honest with yourselves.

  29. January 12th, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Angie Nikoleychuk says:

    Having been stranded on the side of the road for several hours twice in my life, once while 8.5 months pregnant, I can identify with Matt and his family. I really can. It would have been terrifying and being helpless on the other end of a phone isn’t any better. However, this is nothing more than trying to place blame after an extremely emotional and scary situation. Sort of like getting mad at the wall when you walk into it.

    As admitted by his sister, Matt knew full well there was a storm coming; they had been watching the weather and he even cut his visit short. He himself admits he drove 35-60km/hr most of the way, so even if the roads weren’t bad when he left, he KNEW things weren’t good. He shouldn’t need someone to tell him the road is closed or that travel is not recommended to recognize that it might be time to get off the roads. Having made it almost to Medicine Hat, he had numerous opportunities to pull over and stay somewhere until things improved. He didn’t. Like most of us, he likely wanted nothing more than to get home.

    Despite watching the weather and even driving on the crap roads, he wasn’t prepared for a a road trip in bad conditions. Seeing that things weren’t improving, he also didn’t stop somewhere to purchase the things he’d need should things go bad. Snow storms are nothing new here.

    (And yes, I have a shovel, extra clothing, and everything I need in my vehicle when traveling anywhere in the winter. I know the possibilities and know how important they are when you’re stuck on the side of a highway in a snowstorm! That being said, being prepared might save your life, but it doesn’t make these situations any easier to handle emotionally.)

    Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Let’s say it was you or your husband who was an RCMP officer who had attempted to rescue him. Now, let’s say that RCMP officer got stranded miles from Matt. Now, there’s two people starting to freeze to death, frantically calling loved ones and calling for help. As the loved one of that RCMP officer, would you be lashing out at the people he was sent out to help? Would you be angry at them for being out on the roads? Absolutely. Would you be terrified and worried sick about that person on the side of the road? Absolutely.

    Like a large number of people, Matt took a risk. He knew he was taking a risk as soon as he slowed down for the road conditions. He knew there was a possibility he’s be stuck on the side of the road or be in an accident. Unfortunately, that risk had a horrible outcome and was thankfully not as bad as it could have been. It was a scary, near-death experience and nothing and no argument can take that away. However, lashing out doesn’t diminish that in any way either.

    As for the attitude, if I had been in that position, I would have likely gotten nasty on the phone too. I can see getting rude responses in return. That’s human nature.

    If it was so important that a stranger go out there and save him, why didn’t a family member go when they realized no one was coming? I can promise you I wouldn’t be waiting around for someone to find my significant other if there was any way I could get to him. The truth is, it was so bad by that point that even loved ones didn’t dare take the risk.

    It wasn’t incompetence. It was a risk with a bad outcome, just like the people you hear about who refuse to leave their homes during a flood or hurricane. In Matt’s situation, would I be angry at the police at first? Yup. But that still doesn’t change facts or fix the situation.

  30. January 12th, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    newguy says:


    i have ALWAYS had an emergency kit in my car, extra blankets, a 12 volt air compressor and a 12 volt heater… the whole setup cost maybe 150 dollars total. This sits in the trunk of my car all year and once a month a check everything over and make sure it all still functions.

    if there is a bad storm i make sure to check every possible avenue for road and weather conditions and make sure i am prepared for the worst. as well as while i am driving in bad storms and conditions pull over once in a while to make sure those haven’t changed.

    I actually had family out on the road the same day coming from red deer, they drove an extra 3 hours to avoid the highway that was being advertised everywhere as being basically un-drivable and they were in a 4 wheel drive.

    Why shouldn’t he take responsibility? I’m sure when he drove through brooks and saw the 100+ vehicles at the truck stop maybe he should have taken in the hint?

    Why should the police be expected to come save you, when your family wouldn’t drive out to pick you up? Police officers drive the same vehicles that members of the public do, they don’t have special hover craft cars. If you families cars/ SUV/ Truck cant make it out to get you how could their police Car/SUV/Truck Make it there to save you?

  31. January 12th, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    slec says:

    Really Matt? I’ve known you for a few years now and you would be the FIRST to criticize someone for making such a foolish error in judgment. You consider yourself to be smart and above everybody else in mental aptitude as displayed by your arrogant personality time and again and yet you cannot bring yourself to be humble enough to admit you made a bad decision and instead turn your tale into a PSA for other motorists out there. Really. It would be easier to sympathize with you if your blatant self-importance didn’t cloud the message of what is important; mainly to not travel ill-prepared or when an impending blizzard has been forecast. I question why you aren’t upset with your mom’s friend Kay, or the other tow truck personnel, or AMA, or the weather network, or yourself for that matter… really.
    You were stuck there 4 hours Matt. While I’m sure you were cold and suffered mild hypothermia I don’t doubt that it did nothing to cure you of a preconceived notion that your life is greater than that of another. Really.
    The title of your tale should be nothing short of “How I risked my life and the lives of others during a full on blizzard in Southern Alberta.”
    You, sir, are an idiot. Really.

  32. January 13th, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Dusty Melling says:


    The best place for an emergency kit is in your trunk, always. AMA has a very good kit bag, you can go in there and buy one. I recommend to everyone that doesn’t have one to learn from this story and get some kit put together. It’s a one time thing that could save your life.

  33. January 13th, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    ALN says:

    I have to start by saying that this is the first time I have ever written any kind of comment, I am not a face book person and normally can not be bothered with this kind of stuff. I first heard about your story as people in my office were sitting around laughing about how you got yourself in this situation. They were commenting about how you are probably some 19-20 year old guy who thinks the world owes him everything, and that the RCMP should have dropped everything to run to you. Imagine my surprise when I saw you on TV and found that you are definatley not 19-20, and are old enough to know better than to be out in that weather.

    Initially I did feel a little bit sorry for you, but now after seeing the number of places that you have sent this out to I am convinced that this is just a way for you to get attention. Having said that I do believe some of your story.

    Do I believe that you drove when it was unsafe to do so- YES
    Do I believe that you were driving to fast for road conditions- YES
    Do I believe that you called RCMP after hitting the ditch- YES
    Do I believe that the RCMP said they wouldn’t respond to you- YES
    This was a none injury accident, you were the only vehicle involved and your jeep was not a risk to other drivers- so why would they respond.
    Do I believe that the RCMP called a tow truck for you-YES
    Even though they were unable to pull your jeep out at that time they would still respond to you, give you a ride to town and make arrangements to tow your vehicle when it was safe to do so.
    Do I believe that you called 911 back telling them that your heat had gone out and that you were having a hard time staying awake and that you were freezing to death and that they still refused to come- NOT FOR A SECOND……
    These are the men and women who run in when the rest of us are running out. They stand for hours and hours on the side of the road making sure that we are safe at accident scenes, making sure the tow companies, EMS, and fire are safe to do their jobs, and then still remaining to do accident investigation. They remain out there without the aid of a jeep to stop the wind like you had.

    I truly believe that this is just a way for you to get attention, why not do as most people would do, if you have a concern go talk to the RCMP. Even put in a complaint if you feel the need. I would be willing to bet that you have not done that instead you hide behind a keyboard.
    SHAME ON YOU- MAN UP and except the fact that the only one at fault here is you.

  34. January 13th, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Sean says:

    I can understand being in the situation. If you are in danger and the people who’s job it is to protect you are not available or are short with you over the phone, I am sure anyone would be angry. Still, blaming everyone else isn’t the proper thing to do.

    I also worked with Matt, and I can definitely say that if it was a choice between being safe or being in danger just to get back to town so you can come into work the following morning, it is a no-brainer. Any business would rather its employee be safe and miss a day than not.

    This situation has also prompted me to get an emergency kit together, although I have been planning to do it for nearly 2 years now as I drive to/from Lethbridge quite often.

  35. January 14th, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Ted says:

    Matt, grow up.

    You neglect basic personal responsibility and then blame everyone and everything but yourself.

    And to everyone who thinks they or he don’t need to be prepared or take euipment or leave it stored in the car, you’re all just as delusional and moronic as he is.

  36. January 14th, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Raymond says:

    First of all, Kez and Mike. RCMP do not have plows Volker Stevan does. The drivers have the RIGHT TO REFUSE work if it is unsafe to do so. OHS will protect those drivers from having to go out. Secondly the so called bus that left Strathmore was doing this in the day time on Sunday. Not Sat night, as it was unsafe to do so and wouldn’t get bus drivers to go out on Sat night even if the police could move out there. As Dusty pointed out many of RCMP were stuck. I remember seeing Matt and his girlfriend a few years ago at Trukkers he was going to go to a concert I believe in Calgary and the roads were bad so he decided to stay and miss the the concert. Well at least once in his life he made the right call. Kez no job is worth your life. If the roads were that bad as we do know, Matt’s job would have been safe. They couldn’t fire him cause he missed cause of the bad road conditions. Give your head a shake. By the way how fast was he really going. Cause to go from Calgary to Suffield is about 250 km’s. If he was going the 35-60 km/h as he said even at 50 km/h that would have taken him 5 hours to reach that point so if he left at the time like he said 2pm after checking the road report that would have put him at 7pm in the ditch, 2 hours later then he said. So did he leave at 12pm and was wrong on pretty much on half of his story or was he doing 110km/h and was going to fast for road conditions? Also read the part about the guy in the coveralls. Matt says he was North of Suffield so that would put him on the 884. Why was he on that highway coming from Calgary? Or was he on the TCH and actually east of Suffield cause TCH runs east and west not north and south. So if the coverall guy was running over to help him who was heading to Jenner that makes Matt east of Suffield not west. So if Matt doesn’t even know where he actually is how would the RCMP find him.

  37. January 16th, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    CT says:

    I read this man’s story and all I can say is DRAMA. Seriously, enough already. People are tired of hearing about your “near death experience” as I am sure you are the only human on earth who ever hit a ditch. I agree with everyone who pointed out your own stupidity.
    Do you have no friends or relatives to call? Were the other motorists not good enough for you to jump in with? How about taking a little responsibility for a mistake YOU MADE and stop blaming the RCMP? Your name calling, swearing and insults in your article clearly portray the type of person you are. Blame yourself, not the few people who were out busting their butts trying to save as many people as they possibly could. RCMP are out to help people, not save idiots from themselves. Just stop talking already.

  38. May 22nd, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Buddy says:

    first off this guys an idiot ,, second he’s a pussy , and third made this stupid website to make people feel sorry for him. WAAA ya baby..and forth FUCK THE POLICE .. they should help any one at anytime its there job and are tax dollars pay them to do matter what idiot is stuck in any situation.

  39. June 20th, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Concerned Citizen says:

    The only way you are going to get help from the RCMP, it to get arrested, you should have told the cop, you have major weapons, and as soon as I get out of the ditch (Here is my GPS coordinates) I am going to go the police and fuck you all up. That will save your life but unfortunately the RCMP will probably either shoot you, or fail to give you proper medical aid, and you will die from exposure in the jail anyway.

    WE ARE IN 1930’s NAZI GERMANY people! we no longer have rights and the goverment is working for corrupt companies and NOT the people. Its only a matter of time now!

  40. April 28th, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Shawn says:

    The RCMP are not at fault here (other than copping attitude on the phone. Even the majority of minimum wage retail clerks are trained to deal with rude customers).

    Alberta Transportation is at fault. The highways need to be shut down at a point in which emergency services can still clear roads and highways. Once a road has been cleared (of people) it would then be shut down. If at that point your stupid enough to drive without first checking road conditions then it’s no one elses’s fault but your own.

    Also, there needs to be some type of (substantial) fine or fee set up if one venture out in bad conditions that end up requiring emergency services (including tow trucks). People shouldn’t be stopped from driving but they should have to pay if they end up putting the lives of others in danger.

  41. March 3rd, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    anon girl says:

    Fucking lazy pigs.
    Don’t matter if matt screwed up or not. The pigs were wrong in what they didn’t do. Saying this punk shouldn’t be helped cuz hescrewed up is lazy straw man argumentation.
    Every one of you fat self righteous assholes would be whining in your own pathetic way if you were in his shoes. As I hope you would. Otherwise you are a waste that deserves to freeze.
    Speak truth to power matt and everyone else with a brain. Some day u will see why you need to.

  42. March 31st, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Mark says:

    What a tool
    How could you expect the RCMP to
    Come out? You got stuck in a jeep and they have 2wd drive crown Vic’s.
    you’re selfish and an idiot

  43. October 23rd, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    matt says:

    I don’t think half of you fully read his post. He had clearly stated, and I do quote: ” well thanks a frikken lot for informing the weather network, posting signs or blocking the roads with flashing lights for drivers who are already on the road when the road gets officially closed….” How can you tell him its his own fault? yes he chose to try and make the trip, but was he supposed to do when he’s already on the highway when they decided to shut it down? That what I’m understanding from his post.
    I live in the Medicine Hat area I’m fairly sure that the RCMP and/or local police blockaded the highway soon after it was declared closed.
    Dude, I’m glad that you’re alive, and I do believe that the RCMP should have done something for those already on the #1 when they shut it down.

  44. October 5th, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Arleen Cathro says:

    Why do the roads offically need to be declared closed before you wont travel on them ? Cant you see with your own two eyes that the conditions are bad ? I can see when its too dangerous to be driving I dont need the weather channel to tell me

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