Swerving and afraid that she’d veer into oncoming traffic with her young son in the backseat, she managed to aim for the ditch instead. The car flipped and landed on its tires.
“I was kind of panicked,” said Confiant, 30, who lives in Halifax where she’s attending school for early childhood education. “It was crazy. Everything in the car hit the roof and came back down. I was just yelling to my son the whole time. He was responding, saying he was OK.”
Confiant, her son Kobi Hillier who turns three on Dec. 27, and pet shih tzu dog, Kaylie, were OK, albeit shaken up. That’s when a team of hockey players-turned-good-Samaritans came to their rescue.
The Cape Breton Unionized Tradesmen of the Nova Scotia EastLink Major Midget Hockey League were on their way back home from a weekend road trip to Halifax when the team bus happened upon the accident. That’s when the players and coaching staff sprang into action, helping Confiant and her son out of the car.
“Before I knew it, these guys were at my door,” she said. “I was trying to put boots on (Kobi) because he had kicked them off and they were trying to help me put his boots on. The main coach picked my son up and the other guys helped me out of the car and helped me out of the ditch.”
The family got on the bus to keep warm while they waited for the police and ambulance to arrive. After being checked out by paramedics, and with their car out of commission, the team offered Confiant a ride home. The players unpacked her car of her belongings and Christmas gifts and brought them on the bus.
Confiant said everyone made them feel welcome. The teenage players played games with her son and took care of her dog for the entire ride home.
“I’m just really appreciative. It was really nice and everyone was just so accommodating,” she said.
Confiant said she and her son got checked out at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital when they got home. She has a few bruises, but Kobi was fine.
“We were so lucky,” she said. “Somebody was watching over us to have all of that support and not have any injuries. We’re really lucky.
“I’m really thankful for these guys. They were so awesome. Even though they were young guys, they were so responsible. It was really awesome and I really appreciated it.”
Tradesmen head coach Ken Tracey said he was proud of the way his players handled the situation.
“This to me showed tons of character,” he said. “They all come from great families. There was no hesitation. We didn’t have to ask anybody. As the coaches went out the door, they were right behind us.
“We could of asked them to carry that vehicle up out of the ditch and I’m sure they would have attempted it.”
It’s been a tough season on the ice for the rookie-laden Tradesmen team that’s learning the ropes at the major midget level. They lost both games on the weekend road trip and are last in the league standings with a 0-25-0-0 record.
But Tracey said Sunday’s incident put things in a different light.
“Having not so great a year and not so great a weekend, it changed everything,” he said. “It put things in perspective for them, too, to see it come to a good ending and they helped make it that way.”
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