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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 24 September 2020
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Man survives car plunge off cliff and lives on leaves til rescue

David Lavau’s family began searching for him after he failed to return home last Friday.

LA County firefighters on Lake Hughes Road in the Angeles National Forest last night.
LA County firefighters on Lake Hughes Road in the Angeles National Forest last night.
Image: AP Photo/The Newhall Signal, Jonathan Pobre

A MAN IN CALIFORNIA whose car left the road and plunged 200 feet down a ravine built a makeshift camp and survived for several days on leaves and stream water until he was rescued yesterday.

David Lavau’s first words to his children after they found him were: “Can I have some chocolate milk?”

His family began searching for him after he failed to return home on 23 September. His daughter Lisa Lavau told KCAL-TV that their search started at a grocery store the authorities said her father’s debit card had been used at on the Lake Hughes Road in the Angeles National Forest.

She said they searched every ravine and looked over every hill for Lavau before suddenly hearing him shout back faintly from below. His crashed car was found nearby, as was a second vehicle. Its driver had not survived the crash into the ravine.

CNN reports that authorities have not identified the dead driver and that Lavau told them he discovered the car the morning after his crash. A California Highway Patrol report says that the deceased appeared to have been there for some time.

Firefighters rescued Lavau and his family from the crash site and transferred him to hospital by helicopter yesterday evening. Lavau suffered multiple rib and back fractures, a dislocated shoulder and a broken arm, however his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. His family says he is in good spirits.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crashes.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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