The house at 2744 Sooke Rd is being repaired after a truck and trailer crashed into the home Monday afternoon. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

UPDATED: Man no longer able to drive, family cat found after Sooke Road crash

‘You cough, and then you’re unconscious’: Man who crashed into home shares his story

The man who crashed into his pickup truck and trailer into a Langford home along the 2700-block of Sooke Road on Monday afternoon is sharing his story.

Shane Robertson, 52, said he had a cough-induced syncope and the moment he crashed into the home, he was unconscious.

“Once I started coughing, I realized I needed to pull off to the side of the road,” Robertson said. “Before I knew it I was in the house. Once the fog cleared from my head, I started panicking. I wanted to make sure everyone was OK.”

RELATED: UPDATED: Sooke Road reopens after truck hits house in Langford

The last time Robertson experienced a medical event like this was nearly three years ago. His doctors performed brain scans, ECGs, and many other trials before diagnosing him. Cough-induced syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness due to a lack of blood flow to the brain, caused by intense coughs.

“I don’t recall anything, that’s the scariest part,” he said. “You cough, and then you’re unconscious. There’s no real way to describe how it feels.”

The more widely known version of this diagnosis is vasovagal syncope, in which an individual may faint due to triggers, such as the sight of blood or during an extremely emotional episode.

According to the American Journal of Medicine, cough syncope mostly occurs in “middle-aged and older adults, or muscularly built men with a history of chronic obstructive lung disease.”

READ MORE: Crash snarls traffic in Colwood

Robertson says the last time he experienced this kind of medical episode before was nearly three years ago. He says he’s learned how to cough in a particular way and tries to simply avoid coughing altogether.

Doctors have told him that he won’t be able to get behind the wheel until they determine him fit to operate a vehicle, which may be for the foreseeable future. This will affect his small family-run business, Sooke Gutter.

“It’s just me and another guy that run the majority of it,” Robertson said. “I’m gonna have to teach my wife how to drive the truck and trailer because this is my only source of income. The toughest thing is that this condition never goes away.”

Robertson is relieved that there were no injuries, as the situation could have been much worse – and he isn’t the only one.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: Surveillance camera catches Sooke Rd crash

Jennifer Stevenson lives in the residence at 2744 Sooke Rd. She saw the entire crash unfold before her eyes.

“I was cleaning up Halloween decorations [in the front room] when I heard a whooshing sound,” the mother said. “It all happened so quickly. I saw the truck break through the fence and hit the house like a comet, blasting through the house. My 10-year-old daughter flew right off the sofa, but she was alright.”

Stevenson says the windshield wipers of the truck were still going as the dust settled. Then, Robertson came over to apologize and make sure everyone was safe.

“I just remember repeatedly saying to my daughter, ‘It’s gonna be OK,’” Stevenson said.

The family spent the night at a nearby hotel, but are now searching for a place to stay until they can return to their crumbling home.

In the midst of the crash on Monday, the family of five briefly lost their 12-year-old cat, Sapphire. Luckily, they found the cat on Tuesday afternoon hiding in the front room that had been boarded up the night before.

“We’re really lucky. It’s one of those ‘count your blessings’ moments. It could’ve been so much worse.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Debris scattered at 2744 Sooke Rd, where a truck and trailer took out the corner wall and threatens the chimney’s foundation. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Colwood family desperately searching for lost dog

Hachi was last seen on Monday near Lookout Lake Park

Langford man arrested after fleeing a serious crash in Saanich

Other driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police say

Victoria to book more hotel rooms for people sheltering in parks

The City will use ‘unspent’ COVID-19 response funds to book the rooms

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Most Read