A screen capture moments before a highway crash in Northern Ontario shows what appears to be the driver of a pickup truck on a cellphone. Dramatic video of the crash was shared on social media Tuesday.
For a split second last Saturday Ralph Ireland thought he and his wife were dead.
The Sioux Lookout couple were driving home from visiting family and presenting a cheque to the Ronald McDonald House in Winnipeg when they crashed into a truck pulling onto the highway near Kenora.
A video shot from Ireland's dashboard camera shows the truck roll right onto the road before Ireland smashes into it.
WARNING: Video may contain language that's inappropriate for some viewers.
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"I've looked at that video over a hundred times trying to figure out what I could have done to avoid the accident," Ireland said from his jewellery store in Sioux Lookout Wednesday afternoon.
"We hit the brakes. If we hadn't of we would have ended up hitting his door and probably killing him."
Ireland and his wife Ifka Filipovich saw white when they hit the truck. In that moment Ireland said he thought they were going to die.
"I'm very thankful to be alive," he said.
But he's also upset.
Footage from the video shows what appears to be a cell phone in the other driver's hand before the crash. Ireland didn't know that until a reporter from Dryden pointed it out to him.
"He obviously didn't even know we were there until the impact and I'm really upset about that," Ireland said.
He's also upset that insurance probably won't cover all of the money the couple put into their 2006 Chevrolet Duramax to help with mobility issues they have.
But Ireland said he's very grateful for the help he and his wife got from everyone in Kenora during the ordeal, from emergency crews to staff at a local hotel.
Ireland emailed a link to the video to Kenora OPP Tuesday.
OPP say the driver of the pick-up truck was charged March 1, the day of the collision, with failure to yield. Sgt. Shelley Garr said he could faces more charges based on the video.
"Now that we have this information we'll be able to investigate further," she said.
The OPP's distracted driving campaign starts March 8. Garr said it's not just cell phones but anything that takes a person's eyes off the road could be considered distracted driving. Around a dozen fatal collisions have been caused by distracted driving in the region over the past two years. In 2013 the OPP counted more than 670 collisions in the region due to inattentive driving.
"I think the majority of people just think it's not going to happen (to them)," Garr said.
"Focus on the task you need to be focused on, which is driving."