The victim of a fall from the trestle bridge between South Shore Road and Nelson Avenue last week is doing well and has not sustained any lasting physical injuries from the incident.
The accident occurred on June 16 at approximately 7 p.m. when a young man (who wishes to remain anonymous) fell backwards off the trestle more than 15 feet, hitting a rock at the bottom.
In an email statement to the Gazette, the individual’s mother said she hoped to dispel some of what she described as inaccurate information circulating about the incident. She said at the time of the fall her son had intended to climb down under the bridge to urinate.
“He had his back to the river, standing on the cement block when he lost his balance and fell,” she said.
She said he had some minor injuries and was temporarily knocked out. When he came to he phoned 911.
“As a ‘safety’ measure he was brought up on a backboard and had a collar on in case of neck/spinal injuries. Once at the hospital, where he received excellent medical care, [he] was given a CT scan to ensure there were no head, neck or spinal injuries and came home with me that night.”
On Monday the victim learned he would need to have two teeth replaced that were chipped during the fall.
Lake Cowichan Fire Department chief Doug Knott confirmed the rescue effort took place in conjunction with ambulance services.
“Ambulance was on the scene first. We assisted the ambulance and we did a rope rescue, put him in a stretcher basket and pulled him up the bank,” said Knott. “We know nothing more than he fell onto the rocks and the water was low enough that he was on rocks.”
Knott said falls like that from the Greendale Trestle are not common. He said he could only recall one such incident during his more than 30 years of service.
“The structure is fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. But if you venture into the wrong spot you can get hurt,” he said.
Lake Cowichan RCMP was not alerted to the situation.
The victim’s mother expressed her gratitude for the first responders and to family friend Shelley Coburn.
“I really would like to thank all involved in the rescue of my son. You cannot imagine the fear that goes through a mom’s mind when they are contacted. It was the scariest call of my life,” she said.