Two serious ATV accidents in the Arrow Lakes area over the Canada Day long weekend kept rescue crews from three communities busy.

In the first, an Alberta woman “is lucky to be alive,” after an accident on Canada Day, her family says.

The woman was ATVing on the Wilson Lake Forest Service Road on July 1 when she “blacked out and drove off a cliff,” the family says on a GoFundMe page asking for support for her medical and travel expenses.

They say the quad took her 20 feet off the cliff and than launched her another 30 feet into the trees.

“The only thing that saved her was the quad being stopped by a tree, the tree that she caught her leg on, and her helmet,” the writer said. 

The family member says the woman suffered from serious injuries to a leg and foot, and has a mild concussion.

“If the tree [that broke her fall] wasn’t there, she would have rolled another 1,000 feet,” the family member wrote. “She’s going to need surgery, physiotherapy, and lots of rest. She’s lucky to be alive!”

Arrow Lakes Search and Rescue headed up the rescue effort, with Kaslo and Revelstoke teams providing mutual aid. RCMP, the Nakusp Fire Department, and a doctor from Nakusp also attended. The rescue teams had to use rope and tackle to get to the woman, and a helicopter was called in to extract her via long line. 

“It was a pretty tricky rescue,” says ALSAR Search Manager Craig Kiyono, who said the extraction took more than three hours. “Given the location’s remote access, all the participants and moving parts – anything involving a helicopter can be pretty complex.”

The subject was airlifted from the scene, transferred to BC Ambulance Service and transported to hospital.

The woman’s GoFundMe campaign can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/v73khh-unexpected-expenses.

Fauquier accident

But the three-hour rescue pales in comparison to a complicated search and rescue near Fauquier on Monday. The rescue crew from Nakusp was called out to search for two men on an ATV on Powerline Road near Fauquier at about 6 in the evening. The fading light made rescue difficult when it was found the men had again driven off the road and down an embankment, before hitting a tree.

Crews – including police, two ambulance crews, the Fauquier Volunteer Fire Department and almost 20 search and rescue members from Nakusp and Kaslo — searched for the men for hours, then faced a complicated rescue that took most of the night. 

“It was a much more serious accident,” says Kiyono, who says crews worked well into the night and early into the next morning to rescue the two men and get them transported to hospital.

The driver of the ATV suffered serious leg and head injuries. The passenger’s injuries are not known. 

Kiyono can’t say enough about the Kaslo SAR team, which stayed until 3:30 am to aid in the effort.

“They have been a huge ally for us,” says Kiyono. “They drove all the way out here, and were away from home longer than we were. It’s incredible they were able to get all those members to come out all the way to Fauquier on a holiday long weekend.”

Kiyono says it’s important for people recreating in the backcountry to go prepared. He says anyone planning backcountry travel should go to www.adventuresmart.ca and review how to plan for fun – and for any emergencies they might face.

By John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 13, 2023 at 09:55

This item reprinted with permission from   Valley Voice   New Denver, British Columbia
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