A member of the Penticton Fire Rescue aboard one of the department’s two personal watercraft reaches a pickup truck submerged in the Okanagan River Chanel near the Skaha Lake Road bridge Sunday morning around 3:30 a.m. One person was inside the vehicle and was freed and taken to Penticton Regional Hospital. The condition of the victim, believed to be a male, was not available however he was given CPR at the scene and on the way to the hospital. Photo courtesy Skylar Noe-vack.

UPDATE: Man dies in channel crash

The man in a vehicle which crashed into Okanagan River Channel early Sunday morning did not survive.

RCMP and the BC Coroner’s service are continuing their investigation into a fatal, early-morning accident Sunday which claimed the life of a 35-year-old Penticton man.

Police say the incident happened about 3:30 a.m. when the southbound, 2016 grey GMC pickup truck crashed through the south-side bridge barrier and wound up submerged in the water at the entrance to Skaha Lake.

Penticton Fire Rescue crews arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and were able to break one of the vehicle’s windows and pull the man out. Despite efforts to revive him, according to RCMP, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim’s name has so far not been released.

An extended search of the channel was later conducted by members of Penticton Fire Rescue along with technicians from Penticton and District Search and Rescue however no one else was found. At this time it is believed the driver was the lone occupant of the vehicle.

Police earlier said speed may have been a factor in the crash.


Penticton RCMP have confirmed the driver of a pickup truck which went into the south end of the Okanagan River Channel early Sunday morning did not survive.

Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said initial indications are speed may have been a factor in the single-vehicle accident however the matter is under investigation by the RCMP ‘s South Okanagan Traffic Services division. Members there were not available for comment.

The deceased is belived to be male however his name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.


The condition of the lone occupant of a vehicle that plunged into the Okanagan River Channel early Sunday morning remains unknown at this time.

According to Cpt. Dennis Noble of Penticton Fire Rescue, crews using the personal rescue watercraft were able to get to the scene quickly and broke the window to free the victim.

“They started performing CPR on them on scene and they were still performing CPR on the way to the hospital,” said Noble. “No idea which direction he was travelling. No idea speed that’s up to the RCMP. We were just concerned to get him extricated out of the vehicle and then onto shore.”

At this stage RCMP have not released any information.

The vehicle reportedly went through a barricade wall off the bridge winding up on it’s side about 30 feet from shore.

According to Noble the department’s rescue watercraft had just been put in the water for the season the day before.

“So they were already at the marina (on Skaha Lake) so it was a very quick response and very quick extrication out of the vehicle with them,” he said.

A witness reported the Channel Parkway and the Skaha Lake Road intersection were closed to traffic in both directions for some time but were later re-opened.

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