HolyCoast: A Family Doesn't Give Up and Finds Their Missing Dad Down an L.A. County Ravine

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Family Doesn't Give Up and Finds Their Missing Dad Down an L.A. County Ravine

This is a great local story:
A 67-year-old man who survived for five or six days on leaves and creek water after his car plunged 200 feet off a California mountain road was found by his children, who tracked him down like television detectives.

Chardonnay, Sean and Lisa Lavau appeared on NBC's "Today" show Friday, describing how they found their father's car and his makeshift camp in a ravine Thursday off Lake Hughes Road in the Angeles National Forest.

Another vehicle was found nearby, but its driver did not survive the crash and authorities don't know if they are dealing with one crash or two, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Mark Savage. The accident investigation was turned over to California Highway Patrol.

After the family reported David Lavau missing, they worked with a detective to narrow the search area using cell phone towers, text messages and debit card purchases, Chardonnay Lavau told NBC and other reporters.

Lisa Lavau told KCAL-TV her family had not heard from her father for several days.

After narrowing the search area, "We stopped at every ravine, and looked over every hill and then my brother got out of the car and we kept screaming and the next thing we heard Dad saying `help, help,' and there he was," Lisa Lavau said.

Chardonnay Lavau told NBC one of the first things her father asked for after he was found was a chocolate malt.

Officials at the scene were told he might have been stranded for up to six days, Savage said.
I see a TV movie in this story's future.

1 comment:

Underdog said...

This story also appeared locally at avnewstodayonline.com.

Thank God one driver made it out alive.

Lake Hughes Road between Castaic and Lake Hughes is very much like how the nearby historic original Ridge Route was. . . sharp turns, narrow lanes, and not much in the way of guardrails. Just like the Ridge Route, easy to go off the road and pay for it, often with your life. The vehicles lost in the ravines of the Ridge Route never made it back up to the road, and that may end up to be the case here. Steep, rugged terrain. Not much traffic on this stretch of road, and the ruggedness makes cell phone usage problematic. An ideal spot for something to go wrong.

Los Angeles County has so much roadway to maintain and deal with. It's amazing this kind of situation doesn't happen more often, but that's probably due to the extremely light traffic on this road. The other canyon roads in the area - San Francisquito and Bouquet - get more traffic, in part because people don't like to deal with dangerous roadways and the other canyon roads are more traveled and straighter.

So the word to the wise is: traveler beware!