Crash survivor glad to be alive at his daughter’s book-signing

At the book signing Saturday, David La Vau (left), Lisa Kerr (center) and Chardonnay Hooker.
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David La Vau, who in 2011 was found in a 200-foot-deep ravine six days after crashing his car off of Lake Hughes Road, showed just how happy he was to be alive Saturday as people lined up for a copy of the book about his ordeal.

His daughter, Lisa A. Kerr, wrote a book called, “But Not Today: The story of David La Vau,” chronicling her father’s near-death experience, the family’s desperate search to find him and the long road to recovery.

On Saturday, she and her father held a book-signing at The Open Book store on Soledad Canyon Road at Whites Canyon Road.

“My dad is very humble,” Kerr said Monday. “He was so excited to see people at the book signing.

“People just kept asking him, ‘Can I get my picture with you?’ And he signed each book the same, ‘Thanks for the support,’” Kerr said.

She said of the book-signing: “I was very excited that there was traffic coming in and out and (that there was) a buzz about our book. This book has touched a lot of lives.

“My main purpose has always been to share with people, to forgive and also be forgiven and, most of all, learn to forgive yourself.”

On Sept. 30, 2011, first responders rushed David La Vau to the hospital after he was rescued from the bottom of a ravine beneath Lake Hughes Road.

La Vau survived six days at the bottom of the rocky ravine, eating bugs.

Rushed to the hospital, his injuries were diagnosed as serious.

The surgery included setting a dislocated shoulder and repairing his broken forearm, but as his other daughter Chardonnay Hooker said in 2011: “We truly didn’t understand the severity, and the doctors didn’t understand the severity of it until they took him into surgery and opened his arm up.”

Since the ordeal, La Vau has undergone seven surgeries, the most recent being surgery on his shoulder two years ago.

In an interview with The Signal two years ago, La Vau said he lives with pain, flashbacks, nightmares, hallucinations and, specifically, all of the nasty psychological effects common among sufferers of post traumatic stress disorder.

La Vau said he tempered those ill effects, however, expressing his appreciation for the love and attention he gets from his family.

“I am so overwhelmed by the love and help of my family,” he said in 2016. “They went above and beyond. And, I’m alive because they didn’t quit on me — and that has kept me alive.”

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