The body of a Fintley, British Columbia woman who crashed into Okanagan Lake earlier this month and the vehicle she was in were recovered on Tuesday.
Police were first called on West Side Road at about 9:15 pm on June 9. Following reports that the vehicle veered off the road, tumbled down an embankment and may have sunk in Okanagan Lake.
“Emergency services responded to a car accident on Block 900 West Side Road,” said a West Kelowna RCMP sergeant. Greg Woodcox.
“Based on information from the family and evidence at the scene, it was consistent with a vehicle veering off the road over an embankment and entering Okanagan Lake.”
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Agents were on site near the entrance to Traders Cove Regional Park for most of Tuesday.
The driver, identified on social media as Latitia Watson, was still inside the pickup when it was pulled from the lake.
“The vehicle itself is durable and [serious damage] It’s consistent with the car going over the embankment and into the sea,” Woodcox said.
“The lone woman was still in the driver’s seat when the vehicle was recovered.”
Watson, also known as Kelowna’s Sprout Mama, was the chef at Sprout Bread.
“Latitia has worked through all of this with us. There was a good reason she was known as Sprout Mama. It has put my shoulders at ease at times,” read the Sprout Bread Shop social media post.
“If someone was having a bad day, they would come right into the kitchen and chat with Latitia. was there.”
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The vehicle and body were submerged in 140 feet of water for approximately three weeks.
Numerous resources were mobilized including RCMP, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR), West Kelowna firefighters and paramedics to assist with the complex rescue.
“It’s a pretty massive recovery, it’s a complex recovery. They go down, they secure the vehicle, they use a hoist bag to pull the vehicle up to the surface, and then we tow it to shore. From there we used a crane to lift the vehicle out of the water,” said the Kelowna RCMP corporal. Mike Gauthier.
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“The fire department will assist in retrieving the driver from the vehicle after it is pulled from the sea.”
“The RCMP requested COSAR assistance as our Professional Rescue Craft is a landing craft, so it actually lowered the bow and made it easier for the RCMP Professional Diving Team to enter and exit the water.” said. Duane Tresnich and COSAR.
“We have a lot of their equipment on board and they use our boat as a diving platform.”
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Professional divers were also called in from across the state because the car was so deep in the water.
“They have been here for a day or two to acclimatize to the high altitude here. There are multiple divers in the water and they use the surface air supply system,” said Gautier. rice field.
“It complicates the task because it requires roughly the same number of people on the ground to monitor systems that are underwater.”
Gauthier continued, diving crews need to be released from their home detachments, and “when we mobilize all our resources, it takes time to make sure the dives go smoothly and are safe.” Stated.
The cause of crash It is unknown at this time, but investigations are underway to find out how Watson’s car was submerged.
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