Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Gabe Rosescu and his girlfriend Sheri Niemegeers were en route to Nelson, B.C., when a tree fell in their path. (Canadian Press)

A Saskatchewan couple is recovering in hospital after a mudslide swept them off a cliff in British Columbia.

Don Struthers says his brother-in-law Gabe Rosescu and his girlfriend Sheri Niemegeers were en route to Nelson, B.C., when a tree fell in their path.

“They were driving down the road, happy go lucky, excited to see their buddy. And Gabe said all of a sudden they saw one tree kind of fall right onto the road,” Struthers said.

“They didn’t have time to hit the brakes or anything and, before they knew it, they were engulfed by mud and trees. And that’s where their memory goes blank.”

READ MORE: Mudslide closes Hwy 3 near Creston

The first person to arrive was a firefighter from Lloydminster, Alta., who recognized the danger, Struthers said.

He and his passenger stopped traffic one kilometre back, before approaching the mudslide to see if anyone was hurt.

“All of a sudden they heard a voice crying out, it happened to be Gabe. They said they were pretty much chest-deep in mud and trees and branches,” Struthers said.

He said the couple was lucky that a pileup of trees stopped the vehicle from tumbling all the way down the cliff.

Rosescu was airlifted to a Kelowna, B.C., hospital, where he is recovering with head injuries, including some bleeding in the brain and a broken orbital bone.

Doctors are waiting until swelling goes down before scheduling a surgery, he said.

“I guess they are cautiously optimistic that things will keep improving,” Struthers said.

Niemegeers was taken to a hospital in Trail, B.C., and is being treated for a broken sternum and ankle.

Struthers said Rosescu is a sales rep and Niemegeers works for an oil-field company in northern Saskatchewan.

He said they have only been together four or five months, but are head over heels for one another.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Busy day for Penticton Search and Rescue

PENSAR was called to three separate incidents Sunday, Dec. 16

Coldstream retirement community sees seniors helping seniors

The seventh annual Seniors Helping Seniors at Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community was Dec. 2

New Dog O Pogo facility shines in Coldstream

First agility match in the new facility was Dec. 9

Warm weather ahead for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada says no snow at lower altitudes until Wednesday night

Car crash on hwy 97 closes lanes

Officers are directing traffic around the incident that closed lanes heading toward Armstrong.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Book Talk: Series stand outs

Novels in a great series can stand on their own

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

CSRD Wants help figuring out antique survey equipment

The piece of equipment was used by Peter Jennings to map out the North Fork Wild near Craigellachie

White: Don’t be a Scrooge like me

It gets to the point where you simply can’t avoid Christmas no matter how hard you try.

Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Grandpa Lloyd’s success

In a video it shares how an outreach worker helped get Lloyd off the streets

Most Read