Wife: Staying in shape helped husband survive 400-foot fall off of cliff
October 13, 2007
The wife of a man whose car took a 400-foot dive off a cliff into the waters of Lake Tahoe has one word for his survival.
“It’s pretty miraculous,” his wife, Michele Fortin, said Friday.
Early Oct. 2, Guy Fortin was driving back on State Route 28 to his Elk Grove, Calif., home after a weekend of camping and hiking with his nephew when he lost control of his tan Chrysler Sebring convertible.
The car plunged 400 feet into the rocks below, about a mile south of Sand Harbor State Park.
After hours of cold and dark, Steve Crouch, a fisherman from Galt, Calif., spotted the car with its hood partially submerged in the lake about 8 a.m.
Crouch had been fishing along the East Shore when he saw something moving.
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What he found was Fortin stuck inside the convertible and bleeding from the head. Crouch called 911, covered Fortin with a blanket, and gave him water until rescue personnel arrived.
Fortin is still at his California home recovering from injuries sustained in the accident, including a broken clavicle, scapula, ribs and left hand.
“We’re really happy that he’s here with us and that none of the injuries are permanent,” Michele Fortin said.
The phone call that Tuesday morning shook Michele Fortin to her very core.
“You never expect to receive a phone call like that,” she said. “I was surprised at how physical my reaction was. I went completely weak. It was terrifying.”
Fortin said Crouch is like a guardian angel to her family.
“It was amazing that he was there,” she said.
She said once Guy Fortin feels up to it, they plan to get together with Crouch and build a relationship.
Michele Fortin said she is also thankful that her husband had stayed in good shape after being a Marine.
“I don’t think I would have made it through,” Michelle Fortin said. “He was in such good condition.”
Guy Fortin’s story has been covered by national media outlets, including Fox News and “Good Morning America.”
“I think it’s the human interest because of the situation,” Michele Fortin said. “He survived this incredible fall.”