Woman es­capes se­ri­ous in­jury af­ter fall­ing over cliff

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - CAPE BRE­TON POST jcollins@cb­post.com BY JULIE COLLINS

SYD­NEY MINES — What started out as a mis­sion of mercy quickly turned into a near-fa­tal ac­ci­dent for a Syd­ney Mines woman Tues­day.

Heather Davis was driv­ing along Shore Road at around 6 p.m. when she spot­ted an an­i­mal on the edge of the cliff over­look­ing the har­bour.

Wor­ried that some­one’s fam­ily pet might be stranded, Davis rushed to her home on May Street, grabbed a flash­light and stuck her cell­phone in her pocket.

“I knew there was snow com­ing and I just wanted to make sure that the dog wasn’t go­ing to be out­side all night. When I got back, I couldn’t lo­cate the dog. I went to leave, slipped and the ground gave way un­der me.”

As she was fall­ing, Davis re­calls grab­bing brush and rocks to stop her fall.

“I hit a ledge and sailed back­wards down the em­bank­ment, which is about 20 or 25 feet. When I hit the ground I smashed my head and rolled into the wa­ter. I was scared out of my mind, it hap­pened so fast.”

Once she got her bear­ings and

When I hit the ground I smashed my head and rolled into the wa­ter. I was scared out of my mind, it hap­pened so fast.

Heather Davis, woman who fell down cliff

Davis has bruises and cuts on her legs and ab­domen, but didn’t suf­fer any bro­ken bones or a con­cus­sion.

“Every­one who re­sponded was so kind. I was freez­ing and one of the fire­fight­ers gave me his coat. They all kept say­ing to me, even the doc­tors and nurses, how lucky I was that I wasn’t more se­ri­ously in­jured. Ap­par­ently the last per­son made sure noth­ing was bro­ken, Davis phoned 911. Dis­patch­ers con­tacted the nearby North­side Gen­eral Hospi­tal and the Syd­ney Mines Fire Depart­ment.

“A male nurse was there within two min­utes and talked to me from the street. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t se­ri­ously in­jured. The paramedics ar­rived shortly af­ter and used a rope to get to me.” who fell in that same area ended up in hospi­tal se­verely in­jured.”

Po­lice had the street blocked for a short time as fire­fight­ers used a 30-foot lad­der to res­cue Davis.

“I didn’t want to go to hospi­tal, but the paramedics were wor­ried about in­fec­tion and wanted me to get checked out by a doc­tor. I’m re­ally sore, but grate­ful that it wasn’t more se­ri­ous.”

Davis said it was pure luck that she thought to take her cell phone.

“I didn’t tell any­one where I was go­ing and my daugh­ter Emily was spending the night with her grand­par­ents. I was lucky my phone didn’t break on the way down, oth­er­wise it might have been hours be­fore some­one re­al­ized what had hap­pened.”

She plans to con­tact mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials and lobby for some sort of rail­ing in the area where she fell.

“There is a green space with a lit­tle park and a bench for peo­ple to sit and look out over the wa­ter. I think a rail of some sort could pre­vent any fu­ture tragedies be­cause it is a straight drop down. I’m not the first one to fall over, so some­thing should be there, even if it is just a sign to warn peo­ple of the dan­ger.”

Julie Collins - Cape Bre­ton Post

Heather Davis stands near the edge of a 25-foot cliff just off Shore Road in Syd­ney Mines that she fell over Mon­day night, land­ing in the wa­ter be­low. For­tu­nately, she suf­fered only mi­nor in­juries in the fall.

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