April 7 SAR Clinton
It was a daring recovery effort for search and rescue members after a pickup truck launched off a cliff in the middle of nowhere early Sunday morning, leaving two people seriously injured.
Alan Hobler with Kamloops Search and Rescue says the incident took place on High Bar Road near Big Bar Road, approximately 1 hour west of Clinton.
“I’ve been to lots of these before and it's always body recovery,” he says.
“When they said there were two alive individuals, I was floored. And flying in the helicopter assessing the scene, I had no idea how anybody could have possibly survived. I was extremely nervous how we were even going to access them.”
The accident happened around 2:30 a.m. when a White 2013 Dodge Ram Crew Cab truck failed to negotiate a curve in the road and went off a 1,000-foot cliff. There were five people in the truck at the time. Three were able to walk away from the crash.
“It was pretty obvious this vehicle was going very fast and completely missed negotiating a turn in the road and literally launched right off the road. It ended up landing down the slope and then probably cartwheeled or rolled.”
Hobler would not speculate on whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash, but he confirms seeing a number of empty beer cans at the crash site.
He says the truck came to a rest against a small rock, just above another large cliff, which then would have led down to the Fraser River.
“They were very fortunate the vehicle ended up where it did,” he says.
“It was very steep, loose, rocky slopes. Both (victims) were in pretty severe condition.”
The two injured passengers were a 30-year-old female driver and a 38-year-old male passenger, both of whom remain in stable condition at hospital. Hobler says their priority was the driver, who was more critical and was found further down the hill.
“It took a couple hours to get her out of the vehicle, package her, and then bring her up to the road. Air Ambulance was standing by.”
It was another two hours before the man was extracted from the scene.
Search and Rescue members from Kamloops and 100 Mile House, including others from Clinton Fire Rescue aided in the recovery.
The RCMP say the investigation is still ongoing and they have not ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor.