Man OK after 400-foot fall: Wife says that staying in shape helped him survive
If there’s a good way to take a 400-foot dive off a cliff into the waters of Lake Tahoe, Guy Fortin found it.
“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 and Fortin plunged 400 feet into the rocks below, about a mile south of Sand Harbor State Park.
It would be hours in the cold and dark before Steve Crouch, a fisherman from Galt, Calif., spotted the car with its hood partially submerged in the lake about 8 a.m. He had been fishing along the East Shore when he saw something moving. 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.
Almost two weeks later, Fortin is at his California home, recovering from injuries sustained in the accident including a broken clavicle, broke scapula, broken ribs and a broken 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 core.
“You never expect to receive a phone call like that,” Michele Fortin said. “I was surprised at how physical my reaction was. I went completely weak. It was terrifying.”
Michele Fortin said Crouch is like a guardian angel to her family.
“It was amazing that he was there,” Michele Crouch said.
She said once Guy Fortin feels up to it, they plan to get together with Crouch and build a relationship.
Besides Crouch’s fortuitous timing, Michele Fortin said she is also thankful that her husband stayed in good shape after being a Marine.
“I don’t think I would have made it through,” 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.”
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