British Columbia

Trapped driver rescued after rollover crash downs light pole

Firefighters found the driver hurt inside the SUV, but first responders couldn't touch the vehicle because a live wire had come down in the crash.

First responders couldn't initially touch SUV due to downed guide wire

Burnaby firefighters wrote down a cellphone number on a whiteboard for the trapped man to call. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

A driver has been taken to hospital after his SUV hit a light pole in Burnaby on Sunday night, leading to a rescue involving messages written on a whiteboard, a cellphone and the Jaws of Life.

The crash happened along Canada Way near Sperling Avenue around 9:14 p.m. PT.

Firefighters found the driver hurt inside the SUV, but first responders couldn't touch the vehicle because a live wire had come down in the crash.

"The guide wire that came down to the ground had jammed into the vehicle ... [so] we had to consider it live," acting Fire Chief Dave Younger said Monday morning.

Acting Fire Chief Dave Younger, pictured at another call in March 2017. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

With the windows stuck rolled up, fire crews had no way to communicate with the driver — until one had an idea.

"One of the guys got a whiteboard and wrote down a phone number and showed him the number ... I guess he found his phone in the vehicle and phoned us," said Younger.

The driver described his injuries and spoke with firefighters over the phone until BC Hydro crews arrived to shut off the power.

After that, fire crews used the Jaws of Life to get the driver out.

He was taken to hospital on a spinal board, but the extent of his injuries isn't known.

With files from Yvette Brend