British Columbia

Husband describes ordeal searching for wife and finding her down an embankment

Caroline Koenig spent 14 hours lying in snow before she was carried out by rescuers

Jaimie Kehler - CBC News

December 07, 2017

Caroline Koenig was found by her husband 50 metres below the highway. (Vernon Search and Rescue/ Facebook)

The husband of a Vernon, B.C., woman who was saved in a challenging rope rescue after spending 14 hours on a snowy embankment says she is doing well but "pretty embarrassed."

Caroline Koenig's SUV went off the road on Highway 6 near Cherryville Monday afternoon.

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When she didn't come home for dinner Monday night, her husband, Trevor Koenig, knew something was wrong.

"I didn't know where she was. I just thought of any place that she might be," he said.

Koenig searched the area by car for three hours looking for any sign of a vehicle that drove off the road. 

Eventually, he says he saw tire tracks and found her vehicle, but Caroline wasn't inside.

'She's a pretty big deal to me'

"I called for her ... I hoped somebody had found her and taken her to the hospital."

The SUV had slid off the road in icy conditions and was found lying on its side in trees. When Caroline opened the door, she fell out of the car and down the hill.

"I called 911 and then I climbed down and found her."

Koenig was lifted out on a stretcher in a complex, high-angle rope rescue by Vernon Search and Rescue volunteers.

Team members with Vernon Search and Rescue used a rope system to get to Koenig at the bottom of the slope. (Vernon Search and Rescue)

Her husband stayed with her and talked to her for nearly five hours before she was finally carried into an ambulance.

"I kept telling her that help was coming, and she was going to be OK," he said.

Koenig says she broke her arm and had to have surgery but is doing well otherwise.

"I think she's fine, just pretty embarrassed," he said.

"She thinks that we're making a big deal about her, but, obviously, she's a pretty big deal to me."

With files from CBC News Vancouver.

Koenig was lifted to safety by Vernon Search and Rescue workers in a challenging, high-angle rope rescue. (Vernon Search and Rescue)

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