There’s certainly mystery to marriage, the strange way in which shared time and space bind a man and a woman together.
It’s a union of which Cherryville, British Columbia, resident Trevor Koenig can certainly testify — one that saved the life of his wife of 33 years, Caroline.
On the evening of Dec. 4, Koenig sat at home watching the clock crawl its inevitable way forward and worrying. Caroline hadn’t returned home as per her usual custom, and she’d left her phone at home.
“I thought something must have happened, maybe car trouble,” he explained to Global News. The problem was, though, that he didn’t know where she’d gone.
However, he knew Caroline’s habits and how she would usually drive down nearby Highway 6.
So he set out, driving 50 kilometers per hour (roughly 30 miles per hour) and peering at the shoulder of the road the entire time.
After 150 kilometers (93 miles), he said he spotted something horrifying: “a car pinned in a tree” down a steep slope. Once he parked and scrambled down to it, he mysteriously found the car empty.
Undeterred, Koenig continued to search and eventually discovered Caroline lying an additional 30 meters (98 feet) down the embankment.
“She wasn’t moving, and I got in front of her, and I lifted up her face, and her eyes were just staring blank, and I thought, ‘Oh, I was too late,” and then she blinked,” he said.
Caroline was indeed alive. She thought she was dreaming when her husband showed up — but by the time emergency crews got her safely into an ambulance, she’d been out in the element for 14 freezing hours.
Koenig stayed with her for five of those hours, reassuring her the whole time.
“It took a while [to secure her], because it’s a long way and because it was so steep,” Vernon Search and Rescue search manager Leigh Pearson told CBC News. “We had to do multiple lifts to get her out. …
“It appeared that when she tried to get out of the car, that it was on a very steep slope. She had to climb out the passenger door, and as soon as the door opened, she just fell out and away she went, bouncing down the hill.”
— CBC British Columbia (@cbcnewsbc) December 7, 2017
Caroline ended up with a broken arm and a wrecked car. But other than that, the only thing that was hurt was her pride.
“I think she’s fine, just pretty embarrassed,” Koenig said. “She thinks that we’re making a big deal about her, but, obviously, she’s a pretty big deal to me.”