Two vehicle occupants are lucky to be alive after tumbling down a Quesnel highway embankment.
Bouchie Lake Volunteer Fire Department (BLVFD) was called to the scene of the single-vehicle incident at 6:17 a.m. on July 16. They were accompanied by RCMP, BC Ambulance, and backup from North Cariboo Highway Rescue – nine personnel altogether.
“The truck left the road and rolled several times. There were two occupants. One got out on their own, and we had to extract the other one,” said BLVFD chief Jeff Lefebvre. “They are banged up, but the injuries do not appear to be life threatening. The truck is totalled.”
The vehicle was a newer model, “and all the air bags went off, so that helped,” Lefebvre added. “They are lucky.”
Hand tools “and lots of arm-power” were required to extract the one occupant trapped inside. North Cariboo Highway Rescue was prepared to use their auto extrication specialty tools to create the necessary openings, but “we had to bang out some fenders and try to get the door to clear, and the top was pretty banged up.”
And, Lefebvre described, “it was in a bad place. It was down in the creek that exits the pond of the golf course. They are lucky they missed the pond. They missed it by about five feet. They were over the embankment.”
The emergency response vehicles could access the downed truck by way of a gate onto the golf course property – a golf course that just last week suffered vehicular vandalism to some of their fairways and greens as callous joyriders ripped ruts in the sensitive playing areas. And while no emergency response effort would ever place property protection over life protection, the fleet of 911 personnel were able to do their work without adding to the damage.
“We did have groundskeepers on scene to help, and we appreciated that, for their assistance,” he said.
The police are responsible for the investigation into what caused the crash, but the BLVFD’s unofficial sense of the incident was the driver falling asleep at the wheel.