A car is removed from the Comox River estuary along Dyke Road Sunday morning

Single vehicle incident claims life

Elderly Courtenay woman pronounced deceased at St. Joe's Hospital

  • Jan. 11, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record staff

A 72-year-old Courtenay woman was pulled from her vehicle submerged in the water off of Dyke (Comox) Road early Sunday morning.

She was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox where she was pronounced deceased.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue and the Courtenay Fire Department attended the incident around 6:45 a.m., where CVGSAR members entered the Courtenay River estuary and located the woman inside her vehicle.

“We were able to reach in on the passenger side and pull her out,” explained Paul Berry, information officer/SAR manager for the organization, and added she was not conscious when members reached her in the water.

Six swift water rescue technicians aided in the rescue, which Berry said  was in “a very slow-moving tidal draw-out.”

Comox Valley RCMP reported a passing motorist spotted what they believed to be the vehicle’s hazard lights flashing in the water.

They noted it is still unknown what direction the grey 2011 Toyota Rav 4 was travelling or where the vehicle left the roadway prior to ending up in the water.

Berry added once rescuers pulled the woman to shore, members returned for another check of the vehicle to ensure she was the sole occupant.

While he added CVGSAR members train year-round for incidents both on the ground and in water, he said most water incidents involve surface searching, and it was the first incident in his 16 years with the team which involved a submerged vehicle.

Anyone with information about the vehicle leading up to the accident or other information which may assist  the investigation, is asked to to contact Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.


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