Jasmyn Yakura's 2004 Chevy Aveo ended up going off Cosens Bay Road Sunday, April 18, with her behind the wheel, and coming to rest down a steep cliff. Yakura suffered only minor injuries. She was helped back to the road by a friend travelling behind her when the car left the road. (RCMP photo)

North Okanagan driver credits seatbelt with saving life

Jasmyn Yakura, 17, survived after car went off Cosens Bay Road over a cliff, flipping ‘five or six times or more’

The poppy is a symbol of remembrance.

Coldstream’s Jasmyn Yakura now has a vivid memory of her Poppy, the name she calls her 2004 red Chevy Aveo, which ended up in a Coldstream ravine Sunday, April 18, nearly taking the life of its driver.

Yakura had been at the family cabin on Kalamalka Lake off Cosens Bay Road and was set to return to the district at around 11:30 a.m. when she noticed one of her car’s tires was low. Her plan was to drive to town and pump up the tire.

As she was rounding a corner near a popular hiking trail on Cosens Bay Road, the tire, she said, “had a mind of its own,” and she had no way of controlling the vehicle.

“All I saw was me heading straight over the cliff,” said Yakura, 17. “I flipped in the air and just kept rolling and flipping. I kept asking myself when is it going to stop, and when am I going to die.

“Then suddenly it stopped and I unbuckled my seatbelt immediately and tried to crawl out.”

Yakura’s brother’s roommate, a man named Eric, was driving behind her and saw everything happen in front of him.

“He came down without a minute of doubt and got me up (the embankment),” said Yakura. “My family and I thank him beyond words. He basically saved me.”

Yakura said hikers saw the crash from above and came running. She did not get any names of people who helped her as Eric rushed her to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“If you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Yakura.

“The nurses at the hospital were angels and the best group I could possibly have, they made me so comfortable and cared for me a lot. I just want to say thank you to everyone that was there, deep from my heart.”

Yakura suffered no broken bones in the incident, just lots of bruising. She said Monday she was “extremely sore,” with internal bleeding in her ankle, requiring the use of crutches.

“I’m alive, and that is the biggest miracle,” said Yakura, who credits wearing a seatbelt with saving her life.

“I could feel it saving me as I was flipping about five or six times or more, that was the last of my worries… As soon as the car stopped, with glass in my eyes I said to myself, ‘how am I alive?’”

Yakura said the last time she checked her speedometer before going over the embankment she was going 40 km/hour. She also said road conditions on the dirt track were sketchy.

“I’ve been going on the roads since I was born, and have been driving myself for about a month or two on them and they are far from being acceptable for anyone new to the road,” she said.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said Monday the incident is under investigation.

READ MORE: One injured after car goes off cliff in Coldstream

READ MORE: Coldstream water works force road closure



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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