Brian Wood was forced to brake when an out-of-control SUV came hurtling towards him in an inevitable head-on collision in Whidbey Island, Washington State. He swerved his car so that he would take the brunt of the collision, sparing his wife, who was pregnant with their first baby.
Distraught Erin Wood, 31, who lives in Vancouver, said: ' In his final act he did the only thing that would save us.'
The accident happened on Friday as the couple were driving to a family home in the area. When Brian applied the brakes, the SUV went right over the top of his smaller car, a Subaru, crushing its roof, killing Brian Wood and leaving his wife with a head injury.
Two passengers in the SUV, a Chevy Blazer, were also killed in the accident. But the driver, Jordyn Weichert, a 21-year old man, survived and is being held in custody. He is due to be charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. The front passenger, Samantha Bowling, 22, who apparently took the wheel, is in hospital and may also be charged.
Police believe drugs may have been involved. All of the people in the SUV were known to them, and none were wearing seatbelts.
Erin Wood paid an emotional tribute to her husband. Speaking to The Province, a Canadian newspaper, she said that the first thing she wanted her baby to know was that her husband had died to save them.
'I am not going to waste the gift he gave us,' she said.
'He was the most amazing warm-hearted man you would ever meet... and was just my rock,' she said.
The couple's baby is due on 5 November.