A 67-year-old man was found alive by his family six days after his car plunged 200 feet off a mountain road about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, California.
The incident happened along Lake Hughes Road, northeast of Castaic, California and near Angeles National Forest. David LaVau, a retired cable employee, was found by his own family members who launched an all-out search after LaVau went missing.
We know our dad, he'd never not call us, so by the time the fourth, fifth, sixth day, we knew something was wrong, Lisa LaVau, the man's daughter, told NBC San Diego.
The family members thought that LaVau may have gone on a trip to visit his girlfriend. However, when several days passed, they became concerned.
On Thursday, LaVau's adult children and a friend set out to find the missing man. They began by re-tracing his route from Oxnard, where he'd gone on a day trip last Friday.
We got credit cards, we got cell phone [records], we broke into his Facebook, son Sean LaVau explained to local station KTLA.
Our 12-year-old, Ashley, broke into the cell phone by a code ... so we got to find out all the voicemails, he added.
The family could find no cell phone calls, but did find one debit card purchase at a local grocery store. They assumed that he must have gone off the road anywhere from 5 Freeway in Castaic to Lake Hughes, where he lived.
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 saying 'help, help,' and there he was, Lisa Lavau told CBS's The Early Show.
On Thursday night, the children's search paid off when they found their father at the bottom of a cliff, 200 feet off Lake Hughes Road.
I just ran up to the top... and I looked down and I saw my dad's car, and of course my heart dropped, Sean LaVau told KTLA.
I could not see how to get down, he added. I just could not figure it out... So I just slid from tree to tree, grabbing on trees to trees.
Sean found his father, alive.
Sean says his father survived by eating bugs and leaves and drinking water from a nearby river. He reportedly set up a makeshift camp in the ravine.
Fire officials responded around 6:10 p.m. on Thursday. LaVau suffered multiple rib fractures, a dislocated shoulder, a broken arm, and multiple fractures in his back. He was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for treatment, but is expected to make a full recovery.
LeVau's children report that he is in good spirits.
However, another driver was not so lucky. Officials found a separate vehicle next to LaVau's with the badly decomposed body of its driver inside. It was not immediately known who the individual was or when the crash occurred.