Saskatchewan couple Sheri Niemegeers and Gabe Rosescu do not remember much after the wall of mud and trees came hurtling down a steep mountain pass toward their vehicle.
"Him and Sheri both at the same time said, 'Oh my God look at that tree,' which was falling over onto the road," said Andrea.
"This all happened in a split second. They seen out of the corner of their eye, the tree coming down, Gabe tried to brake and then the slide just … it hit them and pushed them over the edge of the cliff."
'I can't believe I'm alive'
Niemegeers, from Weyburn, Sask. and Rosescu, from Regina were travelling on Highway 3 over the Kootenay Pass to visit friends in Nelson, B.C., for the Victoria Day long weekend.
When the slide hit their car, it pushed them off the road and down the edge of the mountain about 30 kilometres west of Creston, B.C.
"Today was the first day that he was able to look in the mirror and actually see himself," said Andrea.
Niemegeers has a broken sternum and ankle, while Rosescu suffered bruising of the brain, broken orbital bones, broken nasal bones, broken cheek bones, a fractured jaw and vision damage.
Andrea said the pair don't remember tumbling down the mountain's edge, or if the vehicle rolled, but Niemegeers recalls waking up and realizing the vehicle was perched on what they described as a ledge.
"At one point Sheri said there was even tree branches holding them up," she said.
"When Sheri looked out her window, she said she couldn't get out her window because it went straight down."
Getting back to the highway
There was no cellphone service but Niemegeers had a work phone in the vehicle that she used to send an "SOS" that pinged her boss in Weyburn, Sask. It is not clear if the emergency services that later arrived were contacted first from Saskatchewan or B.C.
Via <a href="https://twitter.com/DriveBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DriveBC</a> – <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCHwy3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCHwy3</a> is OPEN to single lane alternating traffic 30 Km west of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CrestonBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CrestonBC</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KootenayPass?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KootenayPass</a>. Up to 20 minute delays. Clean up of the mudslide continues. <a href="https://t.co/Gcxxbv6ZTJ">pic.twitter.com/Gcxxbv6ZTJ</a>
Neither Rosescu nor Niemegeers remember exactly how they got from the bottom of the slide back up to the highway, although they know they were helped by some passersby, said Andrea.
When emergency services arrived the pair were separated and sent to different hospitals.
Niemegeers faced an anxious 12-hour wait to get an update on Rosescu's condition.
Recovery going well
Andrea said the pair are recovering faster than expected after their surgeries and they hope to go home to their children in Saskatchewan. Niemegeers has three children and Rosescu has four.
"It's like a movie. When I tell the story it almost sounds like a far-fetched story that it only happens in the movies," she said.
"I don't know, I don't know how it even happened that they are still here."
A Gofundme page for the couple had exceeded its $15,000 goal by Sunday afternoon.
The road was reopened to one-lane traffic on Saturday.