Castlegar man escapes serious injury after experiencing ride of a lifetime
A Castlegar man escaped serious injury after falling asleep at the wheel and crashing down an estimated 120-foot embankment outside of Nelson Sunday afternoon.
""The driver is very fortunate to be alive," RCMP staff Sergeant Dan Seibel said in an emailed press release.
"This is an excellent example that seat belts save lives. If the driver had not been wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle, as it traveled down the cliff, he would likely have not survived this terrible incident."
The accident occurred at approximately 3:05 p.m.
The driver of the 2008 Ford Ranger was traveling on Highway 3A towards Nelson when he apparently fell asleep behind the wheel, going over the steep bank near Granite Road just west of Nelson city limits.
The vehicle came to rest on a beach area known to locals as Shirley Beach.
Boaters enjoying the day on Kootenay Lake witnessed the accident.
Nelson Rural RCMP, Nelson Police Department responded along with Nelson Search and Rescue (SAR).
Due to the steep terrain and limited access, the first responders were from Nelson SAR boat.
The vehicle did not go into the lake but, after crashing down the estimated 100 - 120 vertical feet of very rocky terrain, came to rest on a flat area of the Canadian Pacific Railway property.
The vehicle did not obstruct the CP Railway line.
The only occupant of the vehicle, a 38-year-old male, was removed from the vehicle and transported to Nelson Wharf where B.C. Ambulance paramedics then transported the subject to Kootenay Lake Hospital.
The driver was responsive and remarkably appeared to have only minor/non-life threatening injuries.
Alcohol was not a factor.