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Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad 

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2011, 05:00 PM
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Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad

'We stopped at every ravine, and looked over every hill...the next thing we heard Dad saying 'help, help,' and there he was,' daughter says

CASTAIC, Calif. — A 67-year-old man found alive days after his car plunged 200 feet off a mountain road built a makeshift camp, ate leaves and drank water from a nearby creek to survive, his daughter said.

After several days of radio silence from their dad, David Lavau's kids reported him missing to police. As rescue workers conducted an official search for the missing man, the Lavaus set out on their own.

The family members were the ones who located David Lavau at the bottom of a ravine in the Angeles National Forest in California Thursday.

“We stopped at every ravine,’’ daughter Lisa Lavau told NBC News. “We kept screaming. We found him, no one else did. We did.’’

On TODAY Friday, son Sean Lavau joked in an interview alongside his siblings with TODAY’s Ann Curry: “We actually would not have a show long enough to talk about how that happened,’’ he said. “It was joint efforts in many different directions.’’

Eventually, it was Sean who shouted into a roadside ravine and heard a voice respond. He looked down — and saw his father’s mangled blue car.

“I finally got to him, (and) of course I hugged him, and we both cried,’’ Sean told NBC News. “I said ‘How did you make it?’ And he said, ‘I drank the water in the river, and I ate leaves and bugs.’ ’’

The severity of the situation was apparent when another wrecked vehicle from an unrelated accident was found next to Lavau’s car, smashed at the bottom of the same ravine. The decomposing body of the male driver, who has yet to be identified, was inside the other car.

The search began when authorities told Lisa Lavau that her father had used his debit card at a nearby grocery store. She decided to search the area along with her daughter and brother, also using his recent cell phone activity to help triangulate his possible location. They started in Oxnard, Calif., and ended in Castaic, a sparsely populated area nearly 50 miles away.

When they finally found him, his first words to his family were a request: "Can I have some chocolate milk?" local station KCAL reported. But Lavau’s other daughter, Chardonnay, told Curry she'd like to clarify that claim.

“My father’s favorite thing is chocolate malt (not milk),’’ Chardonnay said. “He loves his Frosty Freeze.’’

Officials at the scene were told that Lavau might have been stranded for up to six days.

"It's unconfirmed, the duration, but it's possibly a significant amount of time," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Mark Savage. A paramedic was lowered to David Lavau from a helicopter. He was evaluated and taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for treatment.

David Lavau suffered multiple rib fractures, a dislocated shoulder, a broken arm and multiple fractures in his back, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, said hospital spokeswoman Bhavna Mistery. He was expected to undergo surgery and it was not clear how long he would be hospitalized, she said. He was doing well and in good spirits.

“I don’t think his life is in danger right now,’’ Dr. Garrett Sutter of Henry Mayo Newhall told NBC News. “He’s in a great deal of pain and very hungry. He didn’t have a lot of resources to handle it, so he suffered through it.’’

Police investigators are working on determining the cause of the accident. That particular stretch of road has been treacherous in recent years thanks to its sharp curves and steep cliffs.

“This is a bad section of road,’’ Capt. Bob Brandelli of the L.A. County Fire Department told NBC News. “This has been the fourth incident I’ve been on here where we’ve had cars over the side.’’

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  #2  
Old 09-30-2011, 05:07 PM
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Re: Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad

That man, considering his age, is lucky as fuck to be alive...

Too bad the other didn't make it

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Old 09-30-2011, 07:26 PM
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Re: Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad

and

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:27 AM
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Re: Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad

food for a docu

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:57 AM
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Re: Six Days After Cliff Plunge, Kids Find Dad

He got extremely lucky.

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Old 10-04-2011, 07:38 PM
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A Man Who Drove Off Cliff Ate Bugs, Leaves for 6 Days, Doctor Says

A doctor who treated a 67-year-old Lake Hughes man who survived for six days on bugs and leaves after his car plunged off a cliff said the man was "quite scared but also quite hopeful" during the ordeal.

David LaVau could hear cars passing on the road above the deep ravine where he was stuck with a dislocated shoulder and a fractured back, he told the nurses at the hospital after he was rescued Thursday night.

“As he was down there eating bumblebees and ants and leaves, he could visualize the cars passing by above and hear them,” said Dr. Garrett Sutter, who was working in the emergency room at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia when LaVau was airlifted in.

LaVau remained in his car overnight after the Sept. 23 crash and the next day crawled out, only to see a dead man in another car that had apparently plunged over the cliff before him, said CHP officials, who had no additional information on that crash.

"It's astonishing he did as well as he did," Sutter said Friday in a news conference at the hospital. "When I heard the details of his story, I was shocked to see how well he was doing. He took quite a plunge off that cliff."

Relatives formed a search-and-rescue effort and found his car car Thursday evening off Lake Hughes Road north of Castaic.


The family was able to access LaVau's cellphone and credit card records, which showed no activity since last Friday.

Based on that, family members said, they narrowed their search to Lake Hughes Road. They spotted the car and Sean LaVau said he slid down the mountain in a frantic effort to reach his father.

"We got credit cards, we got cellphone [records], we broke into his Facebook," Sean LaVau told KTLA-TV.

He said his 12-year-old daughter was able to break into her grandfather's cellphone and listen to voicemail messages.

Sutter said he expects LaVau to be released in about three to four days after he undergoes shoulder surgery. He also suffered a broken forearm, but Sutter said he was surprised LaVau wasn't dehydrated, considering his only liquid consumption was creek water.

LaVau told nurses that when he was taken into the emergency room, he had "an overwhelming sense of relief” and he was alert, awake and "even jovial."

He told the nurses he was hungry and had been craving lobster tacos and In-N-Out hamburgers.

His family stayed with him at the hospital through the night, Sutter said.

The doctor said LaVau does not remember the actual plunge but did remember being in the ravine.

Sutter said he had "never seen anyone go through this kind of a plunge do so remarkably."

He told the nurses that headlights momentarily blinded him and caused him to drive off the cliff.

Sutter predicted LaVau should be fully recovered in four to five months.

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Old 10-04-2011, 09:41 PM
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Re: A Man Who Drove Off Cliff Ate Bugs, Leaves for 6 Days, Doctor Says

wow thats crazy.

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Old 10-04-2011, 10:40 PM
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Re: A Man Who Drove Off Cliff Ate Bugs, Leaves for 6 Days, Doctor Says

leaves or lives?

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Old 10-05-2011, 01:17 AM
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Re: A Man Who Drove Off Cliff Ate Bugs, Leaves for 6 Days, Doctor Says

Quote:
Originally Posted by rafaelfy View Post
leaves or lives?
Sorry! typing error...I ment lives lol

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Old 10-05-2011, 01:40 AM
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Re: A Man Who Drove Off Cliff Ate Bugs, Leaves for 6 Days, Doctor Says

Hakuna Matata!


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