Tree stops car’s path down cliff

A member of Shuswap Search and Rescue says it is a miracle that two women survived after their vehicle went down an embankment

A member of Shuswap Search and Rescue says it is a miracle that two women survived after their vehicle went down an embankment on the Adams Lake Forestry Road on Monday night.

Sgt. Gary Heebner of the Chase RCMP says the driver of a black Dodge Journey was headed southbound at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, when she lost control and went off the left side of the road. The vehicle came to rest on its roof, 30 feet down a steep embankment after striking a tree.

John Schutt, with the volunteer organization, told the Market News they were called out to assist with a high-angle rescue of the two women.

“It’s a miracle they were OK. It was a tree that stopped them; if it hadn’t, well, below that was a pretty precipitous fall. It wouldn’t have been a good outcome.”

In addition to the police from both Chase and Barriere detachments and Shuswap Search and Rescue (SAR), BC Ambulance, the Chase Fire Department, Jimco Towing and Garrick Towing were also called in to help.

“We had to set up a pretty complex rope system with pulleys to deal with the steep slope,” says Schutt.

The SAR members were needed to help bring all the rescue personnel down to the vehicle and back up again, as well as transport the women on stretchers up the slope. The whole operation took more than six hours to complete.

“I think it was pretty frightening for them to  be waiting there, upside down, in such a precarious position. Thankfully, because it was dark, I don’t think they were aware of how close they were to going over again,” says Schutt.

The women were taken to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, but only sustained minor  injuries. RCMP report the cause of the accident is still under investigation.


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