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

Bulkley Valley Credit Union named Business of the Year

Awards gala sets new attendance record

Hazelton aces their way to gold at Grade 8 girls volleyball zones

Smithers schools grab silver and bronze at Prince Rupert Middle School tournament

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

B.C. municipality wants ALC to reconsider their decision in regard to pipeline work camp

The ALC had rejected the construction of the Coastal GasLink work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport in October

Family of Terrace man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Most Read