Three quick-acting teenagers are being credited with saving the life of a man who got pinned after a car slipped off its jack yesterday.

Paramedics say “a Mother’s Day tragedy” was averted when the teens responded to a man’s screams and worked together to hoist the car off him.

“They probably saved his life,” said paramedic team leader Steven Leu. “Getting the car off of him was critically important.”


At 10:30 a.m. yesterday, Ishmael Mbesha, 18, was cycling when he heard screaming and spotted a man pinned beneath a black Chrysler parked behind a row of townhouses at 1775 Russell Rd., near Smyth Road and St. Laurent Boulevard.

“I saw him under his car and he was yelling,” said Mbesha.

Mbesha attempted to lift the car himself, but said, “I couldn’t help because I was alone” so he ran to find his friend, Fiston Issa, 19. With the help of another young man, who did not want to be identified, all three were able to lift the car enough to pull the man out.

Mbesha said the man — identified as Jean-Paul Chateau, 44 — was unconscious by the time they freed him.

The man had removed the vehicle’s front driver-side wheel in order to make repairs. He was using a car jack to support the vehicle while he worked underneath. The vehicle slipped off the jack and fell on top of him, trapping him under the frame.

While the teens were struggling to lift the car, the man’s four-year-old daughter ran to tell her mother, who called 9-1-1.

Paramedics arrived within moments and stabilized the patient. He was treated for serious, but non-life threatening chest injuries and transferred to the trauma centre.

Chateau is recovering in hospital with a broken clavicle and two broken ribs.

“He’s OK now, but they said we have to wait for 24 hours,” said his wife, Hermine.
“They have to do a few more X-rays. He’s very lucky. He thought he was dying.”

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