Township of Howick CBO Ed Podniewicz' hero granddaughter recognized for bravery by the Town of Minto




















Town of Minto Mayor Dave Turton, presents a certificate of recognition to Autumn Lancaster at the April 25, 2023 Town Council meeting for her heroic action after her grandfather, Minto Councillor Ed Podniewic, right, was injured in an automobile accident. Photo by Patrick Raftis.


Ed was involved in a car accident on February 13, 2023, when a grapefruit-sized rock was tossed up from a transport truck and slammed through the windshield of his vehicle, shattering glass and causing serious facial and eye injuries. Although he was in shock from the horrific blow and didn't realize what had happened to him, Ed was able to pull his vehicle over and put it in park.

His granddaughter Autumn, who was with him at the time of the accident, immediately noticed one side of Ed's face and his arm were covered in blood. She didn't hesitate and pulled a now-lightheaded Ed from the vehicle and carried him over to the passenger seat. Autumn cleared the glass from the passenger seat in order to avoid further injuries, and got her grandfather seated and buckled up. She then found a cloth and applied pressure to his head wound and called 911 as she began to drive Ed to the hospital. She wanted the ambulance to know where they were in case Ed's condition changed while they were en route. The 16-year-old novice driver had just gotten her G1 drivers licence in November, but she knew she had to act fast to get her grandfather the medical care he needed. 












Autumn Lancaster checking out the damage to her grandfather's pickup truck following an accident which saw a rock crash through his windshield. Photo by Patrick Raftis.

Ed initially received approximately 30 stitches around his eye and facial area, and x-rays to determine the extent of the damage, while Autumn called family members to let them know what had happened. Ed was then transferred by ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital, where he underwent facial plastic surgery, including the installation of two metal plates in his jaw to stabilize it. He will need to return to visit an eye specialist and undergo additional surgeries to his damaged his left eye, but is grateful his injuries were not more serious. 

"She's my hero," Ed stated proudly of Autumn. Minto Mayor Turton added, "Despite the fear and panic she must have felt, Autumn showed great bravery and acted decisively, ensuring the best possible outcome for her grandfather. She showed great bravery and made a huge difference in the life of another." 

Ed Podniewicz and granddaughter Autumn Lancaster











Township of Howick and Town of Minto Councillor Ed Podniewicz, with his granddaughter, Autumn Lancaster. Photo by Patrick Raftis.

Township of Howick Council and staff wish to congratulate Autumn on her well-deserved recognition and to thank her for her heroic and lifesaving actions that saved her grandfather, a greatly respected and valued Township of Howick employee and friend. Many thanks also go out to the Town of Minto for all of their support, including the services of their Chief Building Official Dave Wilson during Ed's recovery.