B.C. woman saved after falling from vehicle, spending 12 hours down cliff
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VERNON, B.C. — A British Columbia woman is expected to "be just fine" after spending a night outside when her vehicle drove off a North Okanagan highway early Monday afternoon.
Rescue crews pulled the woman to safety Tuesday morning, at least 12 hours after her SUV left Highway 6, about 100 kilometres east of Vernon, B.C.
Leigh Pearson, a manager with Vernon Search and Rescue, says the woman's husband went looking for her after she failed to turn up for dinner and eventually spotted her down an "almost vertical" cliff about 50 metres away from her vehicle, which had crashed 10 metres off the road.
Rescue crews were called in at about 2 a.m.
Pearson says the woman was cold but otherwise appeared uninjured, though she was taken to hospital in Vernon for a more thorough checkup.
Pearson has been involved with search and rescue in Vernon for about 36 years and says this was one of the more interesting operations he's been involved with.
"The vehicle was off the bank, driver's door up, and it was virtually almost completely on its side, hung up in some trees," he says.
"We think when she tried to get out of the vehicle … she just literally fell out and went sliding and tumbling down the bank."
It was also one of the longest lifts the search and rescue group has ever done.
"Usually they're 50, 60, 70 feet kind of thing. But this was a good 150 feet," he says. "It used up a good chunk of our rope, that's for sure."