Man who found trapped Port Alice ATV rider says something urged him down the road

WatchThe man who found a Port Alice man trapped under an ATV clinging to life along a remote logging road says something urged him to go down that road. Tess van Straaten has the latest.

Along an isolated logging road, on one of the most remote parts of Vancouver Island, a Port Alice man spent days pinned under his ATV — clinging to life.

“I’ve passed that road probably a thousand times and I’ve never gone down it and for some reason, I just followed what my gut was telling me,” explains Port McNeill Fire Chief Dean Tait.

Tait happened to be working in the area, at the Link River Campground, when he got a strange feeling.

“All of a sudden I got a weird feeling and tried to ignore it but it just kept getting stronger and stronger and I just got in the truck and started driving and driving,” he says.

Against all odds, Tait found 41-year-old Andrew Horsley — who was last seen a week before — critically injured and trapped in a ditch.

“It was bad, it was really bad,” Tait says. “I feared the worst but obviously there’s an angel on his shoulders and he’s still with us and he’s fighting hard.”

Horsley, a father of three, has spent the last two weeks in the intensive care unit at Victoria General Hospital.

His worried mother says she can’t thank her son’s saviour enough.

“I’d just like to say I’d like to give him a big hug and thank him for obeying his urge,” an emotional Marilyn Horsley says. “It just seems too unreal to have been just by coincidence. It’s not a coincidence. I believe Andrew and God were showing him the way.”

ATV accidents and fatalities are all too common in B.C.

According to the latest BC Coroners Service report, there were 127 deaths in the last decade — including 17 on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island is the third-worst region in the province for fatalities and in many cases, riders weren’t wearing helmets.

Alcohol and drugs were also a contributing factor in more than half of all crashes.

Chief Tait is urging people to be careful.

“If you’re out in the backcountry, tell the family or loved ones,” he advises. “People, pay attention and if they’re not there, let’s look for them.”

Tait thinks about Horsley every single day and is just hoping he’ll pull through

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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