Tulameen man seriously injured in excavator crash

Victim is celebrated B.C. horseman

A Tulameen man was seriously injured Saturday when the excavator he was driving slipped over a 30 foot embankment.

He was trapped in the machine, and after being rescued was airlifted to hospital, according to RCMP Corporal Chad Parsons.

Social media has identified the victim as Jim McCrae, a celebrated equestrian who founded the Back Country Horsemen of BC more than 25 years ago.

A family friend posted to Facebook that McCrae was in ICU at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, suffering from fractured ribs and vertebrae, a broken clavicle and collapsed lung.

According to Parsons the accident occurred when McCrae – who was moving the excavator to put it in storage for winter – missed a tight bend on Wallace Creek Road and slid on some ice.

The scene was discovered by passersby who had seen the excavator on the road previously, and later noted tracks heading over the bank.

“The occupant was yelling for help,” said Parsons.

Paramedics, Princeton Highway Rescue workers and other volunteers helped extract McCrae.

Parsons added the rescue was slightly complicated by the watchful presence of a black bear, which had apparently been frightened by the accident and climbed a nearby tree.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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