The search for 57-year-old Valerie Morris of Sechelt, pictured, has become a recovery mission.

Search for mudslide victim becomes recovery mission

Valerie Morris was swept away by a mudslide on Highway 99 near Cache Creek on August 11.

Ashcroft RCMP have confirmed that the search for Valerie Morris, who was swept away by a mudslide on Highway 99 on August 11, has turned into a recovery mission.

Morris, who was 67, was travelling with her husband Tom in their vintage Morgan convertible. The Sechelt couple had organized a trip to Kamloops with other members of the Pacific Morgan Owners Group.

READ MORE: Woman missing after car swept away by mudslide near Cache Creek

The group of six vehicles was heading to the Hot Night in the City classic car event, with the participants planning to stay overnight in Kamloops. However, a lightning storm and torrential rains in the late afternoon of August 11 forced the cars to pull over at various places along Highway 99 northwest of Cache Creek, to put the tops up.

Tom was just about to get back into the car when what one witness described as “a wall of water and mud” came sweeping down the hillside. Glenn Sorko, a member of the group who had been stranded nearby, managed to pull Tom to safety, and searched in vain for Valerie.

Tom Morris was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening images, and has since been released.

Ashcroft RCMP, along with assistance from the RCMP Police Dog Service, Search and Rescue, and the Fire Service, continued the search through August 15. However, efforts were hampered by the quick-moving water and unsafe conditions in and around the area of the mudslide, one of 17 to come down in a 10-kilometre stretch of Highway 99.

Ashcroft RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Kathleen Thain says that the search for Valerie Morris became a recovery mission on August 15, but that the announcement was not made until after Tom had been informed.

“We still have everyone searching,” she says. “We’ll be searching through the weekend.

“Conditions have improved to some degree. The water level is down in Hat Creek, and new areas have been exposed. But the depth of the slide is still hampering us.”

READ MORE: Highway 99 reopens to single-lane alternating traffic

Mudslides caused by the heavy rains on August 11 closed Highway 99 for more than 36 hours, and also forced the closure of other Interior highways for extended periods. Another mudslide in the area of Highway 99 trapped six people inside their home when mud filled the entire first floor, prompting a rescue by local RCMP. All six people were extricated safely.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Proposal could see Haisla reserve double in size

Ellis Ross says waterfront development would be ideal

Kitimat CDC benefits from special technology for special kids

“The kids participate now where they didn’t before.”

Home care declines as B.C. senior population grows, advocate says

More deferring property tax, using rent subsidy to stay at home

Student rangers sought for Terrace

Young adults interested in student ranger program have until Feb. 24 to apply

Skeena Sawmills audit good overall, but fault found in tree planting

Violation only issue discovered in Forest Practices Board report

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read