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‘Everything was gone, just gone’: Global BC cameraman swept up in Highway 99 slide

Click to play video: '‘I thought I was a goner’: Global News photographer’s terrifying close call with B.C. mudslide' ‘I thought I was a goner’: Global News photographer’s terrifying close call with B.C. mudslide
Communities throughout British Columbia are devastated after mudslides and raging floodwaters washed out roads and communities. Robin Gill surveys the destruction and hears from Global News cameraman Mike Timbrell about his frightening encounter with a mudslide – Nov 16, 2021

At least one person has been killed in the mudslide north of Pemberton B.C. Monday and the search continues for more possible victims.

One of the people caught up in the slide was Global BC cameraman Mike Timbrell.

He was returning to Vancouver from his cabin in the 100 Mile House area when he was stopped along Highway 99-Duffey Lake Road.

Click to play video: '‘I heard this loud terrifying roar’: Global News cameraman shares details of surviving Duffey Lake mudslide' ‘I heard this loud terrifying roar’: Global News cameraman shares details of surviving Duffey Lake mudslide
‘I heard this loud terrifying roar’: Global News cameraman shares details of surviving Duffey Lake mudslide – Nov 17, 2021

“I started up the road and there were numerous slides with rocks and boulders where you’d have to swerve in the other lane to get around,” he said.

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“The road was quite dodgy in the beginning.”

He came around a bend and was stopped in a line of traffic. He thought he had gotten through the worst of it.

Timbrell said he could see people getting out of their vehicles and looking at something around the corner. He didn’t know if another slide had happened.

Click to play video: 'From the air: A look at the slide along Highway 99-Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton' From the air: A look at the slide along Highway 99-Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton
From the air: A look at the slide along Highway 99-Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton – Nov 16, 2021

As people started walking back, Timbrell said he heard a “loud, terrifying roar.

“This roar came and it hit my truck and there were trees flying. I had my seatbelt on. I took it off and laid on the floor of my truck. My truck was moving all over, getting hammered by trees. I thought I was a gonner.”

Timbrell said it finally stopped and he managed to get out of the passenger door and run.

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“I turned around and looked at my truck and it was half-buried and all the cars that were on the road and all the people, they were just gone.

“Gone.”

Read more: One woman dead, others missing, after mudslide sweeps cars off highway north of Pemberton, B.C.

Timbrell thought something would have come smashing through his window and he was just covering his head, praying he was going to survive.

As he stood there, looking at the devastation, a woman came along and yelled at him to get into the passenger seat.

“She saved me. Got me out and drove me down to the police station when I let them know what I saw,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe it, it was almost like, in the blink of an eye, there were roads, there were cars, there was people, and then bang, everything was gone, just gone. Not a sign of a car, not a wheel, just trees and mud. It was all you could see.”

Timbrell said he is so sorry for the other people involved as search efforts continue.

“There was a roar and it slammed. There was just no stopping it.”

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