A man from north Vancouver Island is believed to have survived for five days in a smashed truck, where a hunter found him amid the wreckage on Tuesday.
Duncan Moffat was airlifted to hospital in Victoria with injuries including a broken femur and was undergoing surgery by Wednesday afternoon, according to Lynn Macnab, his mother.
Moffat was found in a smashed pickup truck, where he “spent five days with broken leg, broken femur, etc.,” Macnab said in a text message to the Mirror.
He was also “dehydrated [and] delusional,” according to a post on a Facebook group set up for his search.
Macnab said that Moffat would require treatment from a trauma unit.
The 23-year-old man had been missing for more than a week, and his mother was putting up posters not far from the scene of the accident when she learned that he’d been found.
“I was about 15 [minutes] away as I was putting missing posters up for hunters,” she said. “Got back in cell range and found out.”
She expressed gratitude to everyone who helped search for Moffat, and especially a hunter from Sayward who found her son.
“[H]e found Duncan and stayed with him till help arrived,” she said.
Cpl. Kim Graham of the Sayward RCMP said that police responded to an emergency call on Tuesday at about 1:50 p.m. and attended the scene of a motor vehicle incident on Hwy. 19 roughly 10 km south of Sayward.
A hunter found the man pinned inside a 2003 Dodge pickup truck, approximately 12-15 metres down a steep embankment, Graham said.
The truck had extensive damaged and “there’s a possibility that it did roll once or twice,” Graham said.
She said it’s unclear how long Moffat was stuck.
“He couldn’t confirm how long he’d been down there,” Graham said. “There’s speculation that he’d been down there for days [but] we can’t confirm that.”
The Campbell River Fire Department extricated him from the vehicle, she said, adding that his vital signs were good.
The cause of the incident remained unknown by Wednesday afternoon, but Graham said there was “no indication of any braking” as the vehicle went over the embankment.
Shannon Miller, a spokesperson for the BC Emergency Health Services, said that paramedic crews from Sayward and Campbell River and a Sayward community paramedic were dispatched to the scene of a motor vehicle incident at 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
After receiving care from paramedics, he was transported by ground to the Campbell River hospital, she said. That night, he was flown into Victoria by air ambulance jet, and he arrived at the Victoria General Hospital shortly after 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Miller said.