Newspaper sparks recovery of car abandoned in Similkameen River

A driver crashed the vehicle in to the Similkameen River two months ago and walked away

After two months, a car that has rested abandoned in the Similkameen River near Princeton is going to be removed.

All it took was an outraged director of the RDOS, and a couple of phone calls from the newspaper.

An email received by The Spotlight Tuesday afternoon, from ICBC spokesperson Joanna Linsangan, states: “Multiple agencies are working on removing the vehicle from the Similkameen River. We can confirm that the vehicle will be removed this week. We’d like to thank The Similkameen Spotlight for alerting ICBC to this issue.”

It all started with a car accident on Highway 3, about eight kilometres east of town, on February 2.

A vehicle left the highway and entered the river. The driver walked away, but failed to take the car.

According to RCMP Constable Ryan Henley, the local police service contacted the owner of the vehicle requesting the car be towed from the water, but did not get a response.

Police had no jurisdiction to arrange to remove the car, he said, although it would have been different if the car had been on pavement.

“Our job is to keep the roadways clear.”

Henely noted that since the accident the RCMP have received numerous reports from passersby – people calling to report a car in the river.

“There is police tape up,” he said. “We just had [a call] yesterday. We don’t need any more reports of that vehicle.”

RCMP contacted the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources to follow up on the incident, but as of Monday night had not heard of a resolution.

RDOS Area H director Bob Coyne contacted The Spotlight on the weekend, after exhausting efforts to find someone to take responsibility for the situation.

He had received a complaint from a resident.

“I am angry,” said Coyne, suggesting the government might be waiting for “the tooth fairy” to remove the car from the water.

He was concerned the rising river would “take that car down the river. There are pollutants. We’ve got antifreeze, we’ve got oil, gasoline and God knows what else in the vehicle.”

Coyne spoke with employees of the conservation office and the provincially run insurance agency.

“I am feeling, what is the word? I am feeling let down by our provincial government. I feel basically betrayed by our government that they would, through these various agencies, allow this to happen.”

Coyne said he understood that the driver of the car did not have insurance coverage to pay for a recovery, and that while the matter was referred to the Ministry of the Environment “they have no money to do these recoveries…this is a province wide issue.”

A media relations officer representing the conservation office did not reply to The Spotlight’s request for information.

Linsangan,with ICBC, first clarified the corporation’s position in an email.

“If the customer has purchased optional coverage with ICBC for damages to their vehicle, then ICBC would take the lead on recovery of the vehicle (in the water) and work with the insured customer on the next steps.

We would tow the vehicle out of the water and determine if it can be repaired. In many of these cases, the vehicle is usually not repairable.”

The following day she indicated the vehicle will be removed from the river this week in a cooperative effort with other agencies.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lake Country joins celebration of local government professionals

The district joined communities across the province by planting a new tree

Kootnekoff: Nervous about random drug testing?

Are you an employer with workers performing safety sensitive activities, but without… Continue reading

PPC leader wants to appeal to voters’ intelligence

Maxine Bernier says his right-wing populist political movement differs from that of U.S. President Donald Trump and other similar European leaders

Lake Country still investigating cause for water main break

Over 2,500 residences and businesses in Lake Country and Kelowna remain under boil water notice

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

Most Read