Two young men dead after truck plunges into Fraser River
Published Sunday, January 10, 2016 1:29PM PST
Last Updated Monday, January 11, 2016 7:58AM PST
Two eighteen-year-old men are dead after their pick-up truck veered off the road and plunged into the Fraser River in Chilliwack.
The accident occurred in the 46700-block of Ballam Road around 1 a.m. on Sunday.
Officials said that the truck skidded off a frozen gravel road, dropping six metres over an embankment and into the frigid waters.
Chilliwack Search and Rescue crews first attempted to reach the truck by boat, but thick ice stopped them.
Crews then drove to the scene, venturing into the water to secure a line to the truck – which was found upside down and underwater - to tow it out.
The young men were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Family friends have identified the victims as Connor Dash – who classmates say celebrated a birthday on Saturday - and Gerritt Niessen.
“Gerrit was a great kid. He loved motocross. He loved the outdoors. He loved his dad,” said one family friend. “It's devastating to lose a child at that age. No parent should lose their children, ever.”
Friends of Dash say the teen went to their Chilliwack high school. Flowers have been laid at the place he used to park his truck.
Mounties are investigating whether the weather played a role in the incident. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who has any information is asked to contact RCMP.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Michele Brunoro The Canadian Press