Fatal accident on Highway 97 near Wood Lake
Police are confirming a fatality occurred in an accident on Highway 97 near Wood Lake shortly after 1 p.m. this afternoon, but are saying little else at this point.
An undisclosed source has told the Kelowna Capital News the victim is a female. Police say a Jeep was involved in the accident, skidding off the road and into the frigid waters of Wood Lake.
Numerous witnesses and emergency personnel attempted to rescue the driver from the vehicle, who was in the water for more than 20 minutes.
Highway 97 between Winfield and Oyama has been closed in both directions for the duration of the investigation as traffic is being diverted along the back of Wood Lake from Oyama to Winfield (Oyama Road to Woodsdale Road).
One undisclosed report said other people in the vehicle managed to escape and make it to shore. The vehicle was about 90 per cent submerged in the water about 15 feet off the Wood Lake shoreline, opposite of Ponderosa Road.
At least two others were reported to be getting treatment at the scene for hypothermia. Police have not confirmed how many people were in the vehicle when it crashed into the lake.
Police say the coroner has been called to the scene as has a traffic accident reconstructionist.
There were reports that attempts to rescue the driver were thwarted by an inability to unlock the seat belt. Bystanders at the scene also reportedly tried to winch the vehicle out and were able to move it 75 per cent of the way before the rope snapped, and the vehicle rolled back into the water
Undisclosed reports say the vehicle was 90 per cent submerged and about 15 ft from shore opposite Ponderosa Road.