A 56-year-old man is lucky to be alive after a car accident that plunged him 150 feet down a wooded ravine.
Danny Sansbury was missing for five days before he was found sick and seriously injured in his green pick-up truck, where it had crashed at the bottom of a steep drop into a densely forested area.
Police reportedly had initially considered foul play after Sansbury’s disappearance last week.
They were working an investigative path exploring potential criminal activity, but Sansbury’s decades-long friend, Terri Peck, wasn’t convinced.
“When he came up missing, we all just went, ‘There’s definitely something wrong. There’s something wrong,’” Peck told WFLA.
“I said, ‘I know he is in a ravine. He has to be.’ There was no other explanation. So, I started looking for him up and down a couple of ravines.”
But it wasn’t Peck who found Sansbury, it was a pair of motorists who spotted tire tracks going off a road and discovered the truck at the bottom of a steep ravine in Cowlitz County.
Their 9:30 a.m. 911 call on Sunday morning prompted the Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue team to hike down the hill in waist deep brush with the expectation of finding a body.
MISSING MAN RESCUED BY FIREFIGHTERS AFTER BEING FOUND ALIVE IN HIS VEHICLE AT THE BOTTOM OF A RAVINE. A 56 year old…Posted by Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue on Monday, May 22, 2023
Firefighters were shocked when they found Sansbury still alive in his truck, unable to get out due to the nature of the injuries he sustained from the 150 foot drop.
Additional fire crews and a specialized rope rescue team from the Longview Fire Department were dispatched to extricate Sansbury from the vehicle and haul him up the bluff.
Once the got him to the top, he was taken to a local school by ambulance and airlifted to a level II trauma center in Vancouver, Washington.
Sansbury is currently in critical condition at Peace Health Southwest Medical Center, which Lt. Andy Worth of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue said was exacerbated by his time trapped in the ravine.
“Being down there for five days — not eating, drinking — that definitely played effect with his injuries from the accident,” Worth commented.
Peck said she’s glad that fire crews got Sansbury out of the ravine about an hour after the initial emergency call, “because we knew he wasn’t going to have much more time.”
“I just want to cry to death, just knowing that he was here for six days by himself,” she detailed. “You know, it’s really hard to think that he was down there.”