Man spends 6 hours trapped in crashed car near Cameron Lake
A Comox man who says he swerved to avoid wildlife ended up getting himself trapped inside his wrecked vehicle for more than six hours.
The driver, a carpenter, was on his way to visit his daughter when he crashed near a rest stop at Cameron Lake at around 4 a.m.
With his vehicle partially obscured from other drivers in the area, the man yelled for help – but his pleas went unanswered for hours.
Jason Coert and two dry-walling coworkers were on their way to a Port Alberni job site when they stopped at the rest stop – and that's when they heard cries for help.
“I could hear the guy yelling so [I] go to try and get him out and then realizing he’s pinned...no we’re not getting you out and you just got to sit here and wait, but help’s on the way,” said Coert.
The driver told rescuers he crashed his car and had been trapped for six hours in the heavily damaged vehicle, with his cellphone just out of reach.
“The whole front end piece was ripped right off, the rest of the motor and all was pushed right into the dash, the dash was pushed right into him pinning him right in the car,” said Edwin Porcher, who called 911 for help.
A large number of first responders raced to the scene at 10 a.m. unsure of exactly what condition the driver was in, or what would be required to get him out.
"He continued to call for help. Nobody heard him until the bystanders located him around the park area," said Coombs-Hillier Fire Chief Aaron Poirier. "It was a great team effort between RCMP, BC Ambulance, Coombs Fire, Qualicum Fire, Mainroad Contracting. We're definitely lucky to live in a community like we do where everybody comes together and makes it happen."
The car wasn't visible to passing vehicles because of where it ended up, over a slight embankment and up against trees. Those trees likely stopped him from going into the lake, first responders say.
The man was rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being cut out of the vehicle. The builder and the drywallers, who had never met before, say they're now linked after the harrowing incident.