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 teen on life support after contracting serious viral infection

Sebastian Stewart was medically evacuated to Vancouver General Hospital on April 25

UPDATE: No charges for Terrace Mounties in relation to 2016 suicide

RCMP officers used Tasers to try to apprehend Nicolas Jeppesen before he took his own life

Police ramping up for long weekend

Terrace RCMP partnering with other agencies to add extra enforcement

Sulphur dioxide pollution over Kitimat could be eliminated after 2024

New process will eliminate SO2 as a byproduct

Kitimat, Terrace home sales up from 2017

Optimism surrounding a potentially positive LNG decision one of the factors

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Most Read