With national parks to the east and Okanagan Lake to the west, Kelowna, British Columbia is wrapped in mountain greenery, orchards and fresh water, trading a city skyline for the horizon. The Trottiers, an active family, biked up a nearby mountain with their bikes one Monday morning in August.
Kevin Trottier took his son Kayle and Kayle’s friend mountain biking in his new Chevrolet Silverado. He parked and began his 10 km bike up while Kayle and his friend rode among the jumps closer to the base of the mountain.
Kevin reached the peak and texted his son, letting Kayle know he was on his way back. 10 km up and 10 km down, Kevin rode with ease, even stopping with the kids to film some of their jumps before heading back to the truck. What made for an incredible day of riding, though, was about to come to a crashing halt.
Kevin made his way back to the truck; the plan was to get things ready and pick the kids up a little ways up the mountain. He racked his bike and started the engine.
“That’s when he had his heart attack.” Tara Trottier, Kevin’s wife recalls the story.
“He was in reverse at the time and his foot hit the gas,” she explains, “He went backwards into a tree and was out cold.”
Automatic Crash Response* activated inside the vehicle, and an OnStar* Emergency-Certified Advisor* was on the line with Kevin. The advisor wasn’t able to get a response but could hear Kevin wheezing in the background. The advisor immediately dispatched an ambulance to the truck’s location.
Tara recalls, “My son and his friend heard the crash.” The impact was loud enough for Kayle to hear. “They went running over and saw that Kevin’s truck was in the tree.”
There was a little bit of confusion on the scene. From afar it may have seemed like Kevin was simply parked and texting, but when Kayle noticed his father wasn’t moving and the vehicle damage became visible, it was clear: Kevin was in trouble.
Tara explains how her son interacted with the Advisor, saying, “Kayle smelled smoke, and they said to remove [Kevin] from the truck.”
The boys pulled Kevin away from the smoke and onto the ground outside. Kayle began performing CPR right away. “He learned in grade 10, the year before.” A telling statement from Tara shows just how brave Kayle was that day. A young man trying to save his father.
“OnStar dispatched the ambulance right as soon as the crash happened,” Tara tells us. “Kevin was not responding; he was gone for about 20 minutes.” When First Responders arrived at the scene, they used a defibrillator to reactivate Kevin’s heartbeat.
Kevin spent over two weeks on life support after the incident, but is now recovering.
Although the experience was taxing for Kayle, Tara commends his strength and expressed the pride both parents have for their son.
“He’s doing remarkably well,” says Tara. “He’s a very strong laid-back kid.” Kayle has aspirations to become a member of the RCMP. Tara even added, “He clearly has the personality for it!”
Tara talked about her son’s quick thinking on the scene as well, adding that if the event had gone any differently, it could have been much worse. She’s proud of her son, and tells us, “He handled it with extreme bravery.”
Tara let us know that even with the Silverado repaired, the Trottier’s next vehicle would absolutely need OnStar, saying she would never consider a vehicle without it.
This was the first time the Trottiers had ever used OnStar in an emergency, and thanks to the bravery of their son and the Advisor’s quick response with Kevin, according to Tara, “Without OnStar, I’m not sure that he would be here today.