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Six days after cliff plunge, kids find dad.


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TODAY staff and wire

updated 9/30/2011 7:16:23 AM ET 2011-09-30T11:16:23



CASTAIC, Calif. — A 67-year-old man found alive days after his car plunged 200 feet off a mountain road built a makeshift camp, ate leaves and drank water from a nearby creek to survive, his daughter said.




After several days of radio silence from their dad, David Lavau's kids reported him missing to police. As rescue workers conducted an official search for the missing man, the Lavaus set out on their own.


The family members were the ones who located David Lavau at the bottom of a ravine in the Angeles National Forest in California Thursday.




“We stopped at every ravine,’’ daughter Lisa Lavau told NBC News. “We kept screaming. We found him, no one else did. We did.’’


On TODAY Friday, son Sean Lavau joked in an interview alongside his siblings with TODAY’s Ann Curry: “We actually would not have a show long enough to talk about how that happened,’’ he said. “It was joint efforts in many different directions.’’


Eventually, it was Sean who shouted into a roadside ravine and heard a voice respond. He looked down — and saw his father’s mangled blue car.


“I finally got to him, (and) of course I hugged him, and we both cried,’’ Sean told NBC News. “I said ‘How did you make it?’ And he said, ‘I drank the water in the river, and I ate leaves and bugs.’ ’’




The severity of the situation was apparent when another wrecked vehicle from an unrelated accident was found next to Lavau’s car, smashed at the bottom of the same ravine. The decomposing body of the male driver, who has yet to be identified, was inside the other car.


Brynne:Old but strong :P

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