Man who drove off cliff ate bugs, leaves for 6 days, doctor says
A doctor who treated a 67-year-old Californian man from Lake Hughes, 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 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.