WEST Vancouver police officers used backcountry crampons and fashioned a harness out of dog leashes to rescue a man who drove over a 70-foot embankment on Cypress Mountain early Monday morning.
Police were called out shortly before 1 a.m. by Cypress security after the man was spotted driving erratically on the winding, twisting road leading up to the ski mountain parking lot.
When officers reached the top of the road, they saw the Mitsubishi Lancer had been driven over a ravine and was on its roof in deep snow, near to a small creek.
“Only the tops of the trees were visible,” said Const. Tammy Khorram, spokeswoman for the West Vancouver Police Department.
Luckily two of the three officers who responded were experienced backcountry hikers. One of them was carrying a pair of crampons in his vehicle. The second officer, a dog handler, used long leashes used with police dogs to fashion a makeshift harness.
When they reached the car, they found the driver alive but unresponsive, hanging upside down in the wreckage by his seatbelt, said Khorram.
Officers again used the dog leashes to help pull open the car door and get the driver out.
They then used the harness to help get the injured man up the ravine to a waiting ambulance, which took him to Lions Gate Hospital. The man, a 27-year-old from North Vancouver, was in serious condition, but was being treated and was expected to survive, said police.
Two tow trucks later pulled the vehicle out of the ravine.