Man, 67, Found Alive 1 Week After His Car Plunges Off Castaic Cliff

CASTAIC (CBS) — A 67-year-old man has been found alive near his car — 200 feet off the side of a mountain road — six days after he disappeared.

David Lavau was traveling on Lake Hughes Road, north of Ridge Route Road, last Friday when he swerved to avoid bright lights coming in the opposite direction. After slamming on his brakes, his vehicle plummeted down an embankment.

He stayed in his car overnight, but the next morning, he discovered a deceased driver in a car nearby. Partially disabled, Lavau remained at the bottom of the hill, surviving on leaves and water from a nearby creek for six days.

He was rescued Thursday night after his family obtained security video from a nearby supermarket that ultimately led them to him.

“We know our dad. My dad would never not call his kids,” daughter Lisa Lavau told CBS2. “There’s four of us, and just by the time that fourth day, the fifth day and then the sixth day, we knew something was wrong. I live in San Francisco, so I drove up with my daughter and I said, ‘If anybody can find our dad, it’s us. We know he’s alive.’ And so, we stopped at every ravine and looked over every hill. And then my brother got out of the car and we kept screaming and the next thing, we heard Dad say, ‘Help, help!’ and there he was.

Lavau’s son, Shawn, hiked to the bottom of the canyon and located him before Los Angeles County firefighters extricated them from the canyon and transported Lavau to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

He suffered several broken bones and is scheduled to undergo surgery on his dislocated shoulder Friday.

Authorities haven’t released the identity of the driver who was found dead at the bottom of the ravine.

Comments

One Comment

  1. ???? says:

    HELLOOO…No CELL PHONE??? BTW…They do work in that area

    1. Christina says:

      HELLO?, ever been in a major motor vehicle accident and attempted to find anything thrown all over ones’ vehicle let alone an item that small…last time I was plowed into phone could be found only as it was in a backpack.

  2. Amazed says:

    I am SO touched by the action of his children. God bless ALL of them.

    1. Karen says:

      I am too. This is such a wonderful story because it has a happy ending. The first comment should be deleted because I am tired of negativity from negative people.

      Maybe he does not have a cell phone. There is one less chatty kathy on the road causing problems for other drivers.

      The man was in a ravine trying to avoid another stupid driver.

      Praise the Lord that he was found alive.

  3. Dave Michael says:

    With a PocketFinder GPS they would have found him that night. W/ technology today this should not happen. Awesome story about the family not giving up. I love that!!!

  4. JC says:

    barely mentions the deceased driver also found down there. that person was someone’s family too. i hope a positive identification of that body can ease someone else’s grief and sadness.

    1. Christina says:

      Probably could not put out any information because next of kin wouldn’t have yet been notified.

  5. cloudnine says:

    This is why the police should take these types of calls more seriously. People know their love ones. When someone says I know something is wrong the police should listen. Thank God these people went by their feelings & not waited around for the cops to help. Just look right next to their dad someone’s elses love one perished because the police didn’t bother to look. Happy but yet sad story.

  6. Dottie says:

    Has anyone thought about the fact there probably wasn’t any cell service in the bottom of the ravine. God bless his kids.

    1. Christina says:

      Yes, I that occured to me as well although my comment seen above (in reply to another) also fails to take into account that in a major motor vehicle accident everything in auto is thrown EVERYWHERE (including out of the car thru doors/windows) I was plowed into by a truck years ago and if not for being in my backpack had I even found cell phone it could’ve been broken in wreck. We really have no idea how much stuff we have in our cars until it’s all thrown about in a collision…

  7. Guapi says:

    Totally amazing family!!!!

  8. Christina says:

    As for all you ‘Monday morning quarterbacks’ I must surmise you’ve not been in a major automoble accident else you would know that everything in the car goes sailing EVERYWHERE (and we don’t realize how much stuff there is until it ends up scattered all over) doors broken at hinge & shattered windows? Your cell, if not broken, may not even be in the car. Been plowed into twice by those who don’t know that red octogon means ‘stop’, after the second and much more brutal collision en route from a long work commute I call my husband as soon as I leave work so he’ll know something happened if I don’t arrive home, same applies w/ work, I am always on time so if I don’t show they can contact husband, adult son etc…ideally those who live alone have a neighbor w/ whom they are close enough to know their usual habits for them to have suspicion aroused. Unfortunately among the elderly in particular too few care to risk appearing the fool rather than contact someone if something seems amiss.

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