A British Columbia teenager who disappeared more than a week ago has been found alive trapped inside his wrecked car on the side of the road.

Joe Spring, 19, was found by an RCMP search helicopter on the side of a highway in the B.C. Interior, trapped inside his red sports car. He had apparently been there for eight days.

Spring was semi-conscious and incoherent when found late Tuesday afternoon, suffering from injuries and severe dehydration.

"It's certainly miraculous that he could exist that long trapped in his vehicle without food or water," said RCMP Cpl. Garry Begg. "I think this is pretty close to a record amount of time for a person to be found alive under these circumstances."

The car left the highway at a curve about 34 kilometres north of Williams Lake, hit a tree and came to rest behind an embankment making it impossible to see from the road.

Rescue crews had to use the jaws of life to pull the teenager from the wreck.

On Wednesday, Spring's doctor said the young man is in serious condition in intensive care at Vancouver General Hospital suffering both from injuries related to the crash and from exposure. The area of the crash has had temperatures ranging from highs of 23 C to lows of 2 C in the past week.

He also has head injuries, a broken ankle and fractured ribs, and was under sedation.

"He's mostly conscious, he's trying to talk, but he's severely dehydrated," said his father, Tim Spring, who expressed thanks for those who assisted in the search for his son.

Spring's father said that he was glad simply to know what had happened to his son. "When you don't know where they are, it's a real hell," Spring said, adding that in his view his son probably wouldn't have survived much longer had he not been rescued.

"We're thankful that we know where he is and he's getting the best care he can," his father said.

The younger Spring set out on May 21 for Prince Rupert on the northern B.C. coast and a friend's graduation, planning to spend the night at a friend's home in Quesnel, six hours from his home in Aldergrove. He never made his first stop.