California man, 67, rescued after six days in ravine

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 30, 2011 3:53 PM
California man, 67, rescued after six days in ravine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 67-year-old California grandfather has been rescued after surviving for six days trapped at the bottom of a forest ravine and was in serious condition on Friday in a local hospital, authorities said.

Los Angeles County firefighters airlifted David La Vau from the bottom of a steep, 200-foot-deep ravine along a winding mountain road on Thursday, fire inspector Matt Levesque said.

La Vau's family told rescuers that he had spent six days at the bottom of the ravine in the Los Angeles National Forest after his car careened off the road, Levesque said.

He was alert and talking at time of his rescue and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in serious but stable condition on Thursday, Levesque said.

Firefighters rappelled down the 70-degree ravine to reach La Vau, and a helicopter lifted him and a paramedic out of the gulf.

In the process of the rescue, another vehicle was found in the ravine, along with its deceased driver, Levesque said.

It is not uncommon for cars to fall over the side of road in the steep, hilly terrain of the Angeles National Forest, Levesque said.

(Writing and reporting by Mary Slosson, editing by Dan Whitcomb)