A horrific accident that occurred on Sunday, November 20 around 8 pm resulted in STARS being dispatched Monday morning.

Cochrane RCMP, Constable Cardoso, says the collision occurred on Highway 579 about 2.3 km east of Highway 40 near Fallen Creek South Recreation Area in the MD of Bighorn.

"At about 10 o'clock this morning we received a 911 call to that location from the female associated with that vehicle; police, fire, and EMS attended on scene. The vehicle had gone off the road as it had been travelling towards Water Valley, when it went off the road and down an embankment. There was a male with an injured leg and a female with an injured collarbone."

Stuart Brideaux, AHS, Public Education Officer, says the two vehicle occupants both in their 40s, were luckily both able to extricate from the vehicle, however, they were unable to contact emergency services until Monday morning.

"Through the night they stayed near their vehicle and started a fire for warmth and in the morning the female occupant was able to ascend back up the ravine the SUV had slid down and obtain a cell signal, at which time she was able to contact emergency services."

Brideaux says enroute EMS contacted STARS to attend due to distance from the city and length of time it had been from the initial crash, a 14 hour difference.

"Ultimately the helicopter flew the male patient, to Foothills Hospital in serious but otherwise stable and non life threatening condition with leg and back injuries. The remaining Cochrane ground ambulance transported the woman to the Didsbury Hospital in stable non life threatening condition with a potential shoulder injury. Both patients were suffering from minor hypothermia and exposure to being outside all night, however, both remain stable at this time."

The accident could have had a much worse outcome, adds Brideaux.

"It is remarkable that greater injury wasn't sustained given the mechanism and the amount of damage to the SUV and the circumstances behind the collision. Although milder for this time of year the temperatures were quite cool, but fortunately a very lucky circumstance that both patients are stable in hospital."

Cst. Cardoso, says roads were icy and snow covered on their arrival Monday morning.

At this time there is no evidence to suggest alcohol was a factor;  and RCMP continue to investigate.