Backcountry skills save injured driver

A driver in Metro Vancouver may owe his life to the off-duty abilities of two West Vancouver police officers.

The officers were answering a call about an erratic driver on the twisting and steep Cypress Bowl Road just before 1 a.m. when they saw a Mitsubishi Lancer careen into a 20-metre deep ravine.

Fortunately, both officers are experienced backcountry hikers and one even had crampons in the back of his cruiser, while the other, a dog handler, tied a makeshift harness from two leashes.

Together, they reached the upside-down car, pulled the trapped driver out of the wreckage and, with the help of a third officer, managed to haul the injured victim up to the road.

Firefighters then searched the entire crash scene to confirm no one else had been thrown from the car as it tumbled down the embankment.

Police say the unnamed driver is seriously hurt but is expected to survive, and an active investigation of the crash is underway.

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