Emergency crews attend the scene at Rumming Road in Lantzville where a woman had to be rescued after her car was caught in a mudslide early Monday morning. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Woman rescued from upside-down vehicle in mudslide on Vancouver Island

Regional District of Nanaimo activates emergency operations

One woman needed to be rescued after a mudslide in Lantzville washed out a road in the middle of the night.

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue president Nick Rivers, who performed the rope rescue, said the scene was “very bad.”

Ten emergency vehicles were on scene at Rumming Road just off the highway right on the border between Lantzville and Nanoose Bay a little after 12:30 a.m. Monday morning. Arrowsmith and Nanaimo search and rescue and Nanoose and Lantzville fire departments were on scene.

Lantzville Fire Department deputy chief John Marment said a section of the road had been washed away and it appeared “that a vehicle then went down into the large hole left by the washout, landed upside-down and went down the slide heading towards the ocean.”

Rivers said the fire departments were able to cordon off the scene, but were unable to get to the vehicle. Rivers said when Arrowsmith Search and Rescue arrived, the team set up a quick rope system to get down to the vehicle.

“When I got down to the bottom, where the vehicle was, it was pretty interesting place to be. It wasn’t a fun place to be at all,” Rivers said. “There was a waterfall coming down onto the car which had flipped upside down. All the windows had blasted out of the car when it landed upside down.”

When Rivers got down to the bottom, he said he disconnected from the rope and found the “very lucky young lady” that was inside the vehicle. Rivers said he helped her out of the vehicle and got her hooked up to the harness and back on the rope system and to the crews waiting up top.

Marment said the vehicle was unstable during the rescue.

“Even when search and rescue were trying to get her out, the vehicle was still sliding down this mudslide.”

Rivers said once at the top, he transferred the woman to BC Ambulance Service. The woman was then transported to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with unknown injuries.

Rivers said the only thing he could compare the scene and experience to was a disaster movie.

“There are rocks coming down hitting the car, the bank is eroding more and more and more as you’re down there and you’re dodging rocks. It was pretty stressful for a little while there,” River said.

In total, Rivers said, the rescue took a little more than an hour. The operation took place during a downpour.

article continues below

There were reports of another hill coming down nearby in Nanoose Bay – police had one southbound lane blocked near Hillview Road – and access to Northwest Bay Road was completely closed at the Nanoose Bay Petro-Canada station.

At 1:17 a.m., Drive B.C. advised of a washout 10 kilometres north of Nanaimo affecting traffic on Highway 19 in both directions. The incident was classified as “major.” Drive B.C. is also reporting water pooling on highways north of Nanaimo all the way up to Campbell River and also toward Port Alberni.

The Regional District of Nanaimo advised via social media of a landslide in Lantzville and flooding in Parksville and Whiskey Creek and has activated its Level 2 Emergency Operation Centre.

“Updates will be provided on our social media and website as needed,” the post reads.

Martindale Road in Parksville, Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek and Rumming Road are closed.

To report flooding in the RDN, contact 778-762-3553.

— with files from Lauren Collins, PQB News



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Terrace home sales jump 59 per cent over 2017

Northern BC Real Estate Board expects numbers, values only to climb

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Emergency Support Services examines strategies after 2018 wildfires

Volunteers worked 5 months when typically 72 hours is the norm

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read