Mudslide rescue (Dan Anderson/For the Vernon Morning Star)

B.C. man recounts intense rescue of couple caught in mudslide

Something told Dan Anderson to go back to the scene of a major mudslide on the long weekend.

Something told Dan Anderson to go back to the scene of a major mudslide on the long weekend when others turned away.

Anderson, a Vernon man who was travelling through the Kootenay Mountain Pass for work, was interrupted when he came across the mudslide that nearly killed a Saskatchewan couple.

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

Upon first look, it seemed to just be an inconvenience. Cars ahead of him turned around and left the scene. Eventually, it was just Anderson and one other man who had stopped to take a picture of the debris-covered road. Anderson said that this compelled him to do the same — something, he says, he wouldn’t instinctually do.

He said it was then that he heard a faint call for help.

“It was way in the distance and it was quite noisy with the water and the rain. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” he said as he reflected on the violent event on Victoria Day.

He said he called for the other man to come help and the two of them climbed through the wreckage trying to locate the voices. Eventually, they spotted each other. The voices belonged to a couple, Sheri Niemegeers and Gabe Rosescu.

“It was one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen,” says Anderson. “He had several head injuries and his forehead was all opened up. She had a severely broken ankle and could barely stand up.”

They decided to make their way to the other side of the slide, closer to Castlegar side and away from their cars because the path seemed clearer.

“There were fewer trees to crawl through,” he said.

Using trees for leverage, the four of them slowly made their way up the side of the mountain, calling for help. It came. A row of people helped carry Niemegeers to safety and both victims were driven to hospital.

“That’s the last I saw of them that day,” says Anderson. “I went down to the hospital in Kelowna yesterday to visit [Rosescu].”

Anderson said Rosescu was doing well, though he has no recollection of the event. Niemegeers was in hospital in Trail seeking treatment for her ankle.

“I don’t feel I did anything different than any of you would have done,” Anderson wrote in a Facebook post. “I think it’s built into all of us to react to help one another and that’s the one thing that fear can’t win over.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@BrieChar
brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Mudslide rescue (Dan Anderson/For the Vernon Morning Star)

Mudslide rescue (Dan Anderson/For the Vernon Morning Star)

Just Posted

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Port Alberni women pack Women in Government info session

‘Gender is not a liability at the ballot box’

Canadian Cancer Society in Port Alberni closing doors

Access to support programs will remain unchanged

Celebrate National Aboriginal Day in the Alberni Valley

Plenty of events on Thursday, June 21, including at Paper Mill Dam

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Port Day celebrates Alberni’s waterfront

Third annual Port Alberni event was a hit

BC Ferries posts strong earnings before rate cuts

Last year highest ever for vehicle traffic, most walk-ons in 20 years

Snapchat used to make mass shooting threat in Kamloops

RCMP did not dub the threat a hoax, instead called it “unsubstantiated”

B.C. groups file response to government’s fight against solitary confinement

B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended ruling for one year to give government time to draft legislation

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

B.C. Christian school mulls covenant, future of law school after court ruling

The university still wants to open a law school, but is looking at its options.

Ultra-low cost airline to launch in B.C. this week

Swoop destinations include Abbotsford, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax and Edmonton

Heat wave could lead to record-breaking electricity use: BC Hydro

Monday was a hot one, and many turned to fans and air conditioners for relief from the heat

Most Read