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Tree fractures hiker's skull

Oct 16 2012
A man and his dog step over a tree that fell in Beaver Lake Park, seriously injuring a Saanich man. 

A man and his dog step over a tree that fell in Beaver Lake Park, seriously injuring a Saanich man.

Photograph by: Lyle Stafford , timescolonist.com

A Saanich man fractured his skull, broke a hip and an arm and has possible brain and spinal injuries after being struck by a falling tree near Beaver Lake on Saturday.

Dave Inglis, 55, took the brunt of the blow when a 21-metre tree came crashing out of the woods and landed on the public trail.

The tree hit two of three men, friends who regularly meet in the regional park to walk their dogs.

Rob Griffin, 60, has scrapes on his back where the tree struck him. He got up from the ground and assessed Inglis, who was unconscious.

"He was struggling with his breathing and had bubbles coming out of his mouth," Griffin said. "That tree was heavy. It shook the ground when it hit."

Griffin ran to a nearby field and borrowed a woman's cell-phone to call 911. While he directed paramedics to the site, two nurses came across Inglis on the trail and assisted him, Griffin said.

Paramedics took Inglis to Victoria General Hospital and Griffin to Saanich Peninsula Hospital. When Griffin was released, he went to visit his friend about 4 p.m., but Inglis was being moved to Vancouver General Hospital. "They were prepping him for the airlift, and that's when I knew his injuries were far worse than I thought," Griffin said.

Inglis has a sister living in Kelowna, who was on her way to visit him on Sunday.

Griffin said he woke up every 15 minutes Saturday night dreaming about his friend stretched out on the ground.

"It was just such a freak, freak accident," he said.

"We were just walking along, talking about fishing on Tuesday in Dave's boat. Then the tree fell."


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