Prince Rupert RCMP are confirming new details about last week’s fatal accident on Highway 16, but say they will not be releasing the names of those involved.
Const. Matt Ericson confirmed that the male drive who remains unaccounted for is the father of the young woman who was found deceased inside the vehicle.
“We won’t be releasing the names out of respect for the family. We’re dealing with a grieving mother who has lost her daughter and, potentially, her husband as well,” he said.
“We’re trying to respect their privacy as much as possible.”
RCMP have now called off the search for the driver who went missing after a vehicle entered the Skeena River yesterday.
“We had search and rescue scouring the shoreline between the car and Prince Rupert and had the RCMP helicopter searching from the air for any sign he made it to shore, but did not find any. At this point in time the search has been called off,” said Const. Matt Ericson of the Prince Rupert RCMP.
While not releasing names, Ericson confirmed that all three passengers were from Prince Rupert. While one female passenger was taken to hospital, a second female was found deceased inside the vehicle and the male driver remains unaccounted for.
As for the vehicle itself, Const. Ericson said the operation to recover it has been put on hold.
“We attempted to recover the vehicle but the current and depth at which it is sitting made it far too dangerous once we were in the water to secure the vehicle,” he said.
“We’re going to have to put it on hold until the water level goes down, but I am not sure when that will be.”
RCMP believe yesterday’s accident east of Prince Rupert has claimed two lives.
Contrary to earlier reports, RCMP discovered one passenger deceased inside the vehicle, one passenger – the driver – has yet to be located and one passenger was able to free themselves from the vehicle.
The investigation into what caused the accident and the search for the missing passenger are ongoing. The names of those involved is not being released pending notification of next of kin.
Look for more details as they become available.
Crews are responding to an accident on the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace that left one vehicle in the Skeena River Thursday afternoon.
A first responder indicated it was a single vehicle accident, with three passengers being in the vehicle at the time. As of 5:40 p.m. one passenger was still unaccounted for. Two individuals were transported to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, one flown in by helicopter and the other being transported by ambulance.
The section of Highway 16 was closed mid-afternoon on Thursday, Sept. 11, but as of 5:30 p.m. was reopened to single-lane alternating traffic.
Prince Rupert paramedics, firefighters and RCMP are on scene, along with Search and Rescue crews.
RCMP declined to comment. Look for more information as it becomes available.