British Columbia

Missing man who survived truck crash may have been trapped in vehicle for days

The uncle of a Vancouver Island man says his nephew is lucky to be alive after he was trapped in his smashed vehicle for what may have been days off the side of a remote road.

Duncan Moffat's family believe he may have been trapped for 5 days — and that he ate apples to survive

Duncan Moffat was found conscious but delirious, suffering from exposure, a broken leg and internal injuries (CHEK News)

The uncle of a Vancouver Island man says his nephew is lucky to be alive after he was trapped in his smashed vehicle for what may have been days off the side of a remote road.

Duncan Moffat, 23, was found badly injured in his truck, 12 metres down a steep embankment, by a hunter.

Emergency crews were called and Moffat was extracted from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life.

His family believes he had been trapped there for as long as five days — and that some apples he had recently picked may have kept him alive.

In a release, Sayward RCMP confirmed that a man had been rescued from his truck down a steep embankment off Highway 19, 11 kilometres south of Sayward, B.C.

Police said the rescued man told rescuers he was unsure how long he had been trapped. "It is believed the male could have been trapped for more than 12 hours, possibly up to a few days," the release said.

May have been trapped for 5 days

Moffat's uncle, Bill Macnab, said the last time he saw his nephew was Nov. 3, when he had just finished picking apples in his dad's backyard in Sayward, a remote North Island community.   

Moffat headed off to visit friends in Campbell River, and the family believes he likely left there five days before he was found on Nov. 12.

Moffat's pickup truck was found by hunters metres down a steep embankment. (CHEK News)

He was reported missing Nov. 7. The family was considering renting a helicopter to do an aerial search when it got the call he had been found.

Macnab says Moffat was found conscious but delirious, with several broken bones and internal injuries. He believes the apples he'd picked from his father's home kept him alive.

Father follows hunch

Macnab said Moffat's father followed a hunch and, after seeing an ambulance race by his home, quickly got in his car and followed it. 

"Lo and behold, when he gets to the accident scene and looks over the cliff he sees his truck. Obviously, his heart fell out of his chest," he said.

Macnab said his nephew had been experiencing a lack of direction of late, and he hoped that this could be a wake-up call.

"I think he's had an epiphany out there. I surely as hell hope ... he knows he has a second chance here," he said.

Moffat was initially taken to Campbell River Hospital and later airlifted to hospital in Victoria, where he is expected to remain for three weeks.

With files from Michael Tymchuk