Man rescued from truck after 200 foot drop

Keremeos fire department performed a harrowing rescue 200 feet down

  • Dec. 19, 2017 5:40 p.m.

It was a precarious situation as Keremeos firefighters worked to extricate a person from a truck that slid of Nickel Plate Road near Hedley coming to a rest about 200 feet down the mountainside Monday night.

The truck plummeted down 200 feet sometime in the afternoon. One man was able to free himself from the truck and walk out to signal for help.

Jordy Bosscha, fire chief for the department, said the fire department was called around 6:45 p.m. He noted the rescue was very challenging.

“First we had to send down a few members to get to the person trapped in the vehicle. We had to find the easiest and safest way down we could,” he said.

The Hedley and Keremeos fire departments attended the scene. Soon ambulance arrived and then Princeton Highway Rescue. Argo also came and sanded Nickel Plate during the rescue to make it easier for emergency vehicles to use the road.

“An ambulance got stuck on the roadway. We got up to the point that if we had momentum we were good, if we got stopped, we couldn’t go any further. We ended up stopped about 100 feet from the scene. It was a lot of humping, packing the tool,s generator. We had to come up with a plan. We had virtually nothing to tie-off our ropes and harnesses to. We were working on quite a few different plans and Princeton showed up and were able to get to their truck around and tie-off to their truck.”

The rescue took several hours to complete. First sending firefighters climbing down to check on the occupants.

“It was really thick with brush and a lot of holes. They followed the creek down. There was steep drop offs. It was a real challenge for them,” he said.

Once the Princeton Highway Rescue truck was secure and in position several firefighters were lowered down by basket with extrication equipment to get the man out of the truck.

Bosscha wasn’t sure the extent of the men’s injuries but said the man who was extricated was conscience and talking before being taken to hospital.

Bosscha said the department has been busy with vehicle callouts over the last few days. On Sunday a vehicle rolled over in Olalla and firefighters extricated a person form the car. Tuesday morning the department received a call that vehicle had run off the road and went down a 75-foot embankment near the Chopaka Bridge.

“Fortunately the person was able to walk out,” he said.

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