Now Playing What just played?



Listen Live

October 4, 2018, was supposed to be a relatively uneventful day for Sheldon Falk. 

The owner of Falk Nurseries, he had plans on spending most of the day south of the border, on a business trip with his son and son-in-law. The three hopped into Falk's Mazda3, which he admits was not the vehicle of choice that morning. But, mechanical problems on their Ford Edge, forced his hand. Now in hindsight, Falk says the decision to take the smaller car may be what saved their lives that day.

It ended up being a routine day until everything changed moments after crossing the border back into Canada later that evening. Falk says they were driving along Provincial Road 201, east of Letellier when his son Ryan, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, yelled 'oh no.' Falk glanced at his son, then back at the road to see a seven foot high moose walking across the highway, only 50 feet in front of their car.

"There was no time to react to the moose at all," recalls Falk. "There was a huge bang obviously and there was glass and dust and wind and the roof tore right open, the windshield was wide open and the whole environment had changed in a second."

2018 10 falk7Sheldon Falk after being stitched upAfter slamming on his brakes, Falk says it took about 300 feet after impact before his car came to a stop on the shoulder. He immediately yelled to his two sons 'is everybody okay?' His son-in-law Adrian mumbled from the back seat that he was good, but Ryan just sat upright, his eyes closed, not saying a word.

"I again said, 'Ryan are you alright?' and he moaned and groaned a bit but he didn't respond," says Falk.

He notes after a third round of questioning, Ryan finally started to speak. Falk quickly ordered Adrian to call 911, knowing he himself was bleeding and had searing pain on his face and shoulder and then not knowing the severity of Ryan's injuries.

Falk says it took only 10 or 12 minutes for paramedics to arrive. The three men were rushed to hospital, and because his lacerations looked so severe, Falk was flown to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg by STARS. He was released from hospital the next day.

The extent of injuries to the Falk family is not what it could have been. Sheldon received a seven-inch gash on his face and a four inch cut along his neck and shoulder area. The gash missed his eye by half an inch and his jugular vein by that same amount. Ryan has a compression fracture in his C1 vertebrae. Had he broken that vertebrae Ryan would have died. And Adrian received cuts to his forehead from the crumbled roof.

"When you see the car you just have to say it's a miracle that we're alive and all the power to God for his plans and his sovereignty"

"God's grace was all over us in protecting us," says Falk. "When we look at how the metal bent right over top of the headrest we should be decapitated and yet we are not."

Falk says they must have ducked in the exact right spot at the perfect time. Further to that, he says had they been driving their Ford Edge, they would have been sitting about a foot higher. But, the lower Mazda allowed them to skip underneath the moose, avoiding much more serious injuries above their chests.

2018 10 falk5Ryan Falk"When you see the car you just have to say it's a miracle that we're alive and all the power to God for his plans and his sovereignty," adds Falk.

Shortly after being released from hospital, Falk was able to visit his Mazda to retrieve valuables still inside. He notes seeing the car in the daylight, with a clear mind provided an even stronger feeling that they should not be alive to tell their story.

The moose did not die on impact. In fact, people from nearby Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation came to the scene shortly after the crash to put the animal out of its misery. They then butchered the moose and prepared the meat for the rest of their community. Falk was able to visit the community on the Thanksgiving weekend and even sampled some of the meat from the animal that nearly took his life. Falk has since learned the moose was a two-year-old bull, weighing more than one thousand pounds and with antlers that ran 36 inches across.

It appears the road to recovery will be longest for Ryan. Today he is in a neck brace and will likely continue to wear that souvenir for the next four to six weeks. He is expected to make a full recovery. Ryan, who was knocked out for about one minute after the crash, says he remembers seeing the moose walking across the road, but thinking there was no way they would hit it. His next memory is from about ten minutes after the crash when he is standing on the side of the road, assessing the situation.

2018 10 falk6Adrian FalkRyan says the cuts and swelling which Adrian received to his face are very quickly becoming less and less noticeable. And as for their father, he will have scars running across his cheek and shoulder the rest of his life. Falk says at a time like this, he could be asking, why me? why a moose? why here in Manitoba?

"But my perspective is that hey we lived and the scar is just to remind me that I have lots to be grateful for," says Falk. "And so I'm okay with it."

Falk says he remembers thinking of Steven Fletcher just before striking the moose. The Manitoba MLA is paralyzed today after a collision with a moose decades ago.

"Being paralyzed did cross my mind," he says. "I wasn't sure what I would see if I lived. It happened so fast and I was glad that I wasn't looking at decapitated sons."

Falk says the crash has allowed him to realize how much he appreciates his wife, children and family. He says life is precious and relationships are incredible.

Meanwhile, Ryan says heading into Thanksgiving, he had been asking God to make him more thankful and to teach him gratitude.

"I would say God has some interesting ways of getting his point across sometimes, especially with an accident like this right over Thanksgiving weekend," he says. "It's pretty obvious and I have a lot to be thankful for."

Share this story!

Operation Christmas Child 2018

We are live at St. Vital Centre, in the food hall, for another year of Operation…

15-year-old boy last seen in west end

Winnipeg Police are asking for the public's help in locating a missing teen.

Officer sheds light on tactical support team

Const. Tyler Loewen says any time his unit is deployed their main goal is to ensure…

Missing teen safely located

Update: Manitoba RCMP say that a missing teenager in Thompson has safely located.

None hurt in highway collision involving parked police

No one is injured after a car crashed into two police vehicles while officers were…

Provincial nominee program turns 20

The Province of Manitoba celebrated the 20th anniversary of the provincial nominee…

UPDATE: Rollover causes delays

UPDATE: Traffic is back to normal following a rollover on Bishop Grandin.

Stop telling people in debt to tithe 'unless you preach 2 sermons first': Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says that pastors should be preaching more about the realities of debt and…

Giving dignity one haircut at a time

Winnipeg's less fortunate will receive a snippet of love over the weekend.

'Turning Point' coming to CHVN

Dr. David Jeremiah is bringing his biblical teaching to CHVN beginning November 26.

Don't get caught on thin ice

As the weather outside grows more frightful this holiday season, the Winnipeg Fire…

Murdered missionary's widow urges others to take his place in mission field

The wife of a murdered missionary says she "has no bitterness in her soul against anyone."

Construction at Providence back on but with altered plans

After the start of construction was delayed earlier this fall, Providence University…

Winnipegger suits up for Washington Capitals

It wasn't the first call for local resident Gavin McHale, but it was just as exciting.

Ottawa in talks to bring Asia Bibi to Canada

Prime Minister Trudeau has confirmed that the country is in talks with Pakistan to bring…

Employment-and-life-planning program for Metis women gets funding

Federal funding is going to a project designed to help Metis women in Manitoba enter,…

Restrictions and lane closure in effect on PTH 100 Red River Bridge

The Red River Bridge along the South Perimeter Highway is down to one lane heading west…

Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade road closures

Make way for Santa and his new sleigh.

WSD program to develop Indigenous students into teachers

A new program being called the first of its kind in Canada is designed to provide a…

Canadian hip hop artist Tomislav Milardovic walked away from everything to follow God's call on his life

Pastor Tomislav Milardovic wasn’t always your friendly neighbourhood pastor. At one point…