A 40 year old Lillooet woman succumbed to hypothermia last week after a harrowing single vehicle accident on Hwy 40, a mountain road that connects Lillooet to Gold Bridge and Shalath.
The Lillooet RCMP and Central Interior Traffic Services responded to a vehicle down an embankment off of Hwy 40 near Lillooet last week. First responders were able to extract the lone female driver from the partially submerged vehicle, however the woman’s condition deteriorated at the scene and was pronounced deceased at Royal Inlands Hospital.
At around 10:45 am on Thursday Jan. 17, the Lillooet RCMP received a report of a vehicle down an embankment off of Hwy 40, 13.2 km west from Lillooet. Highway crews spotted the tire tracks and alerted police that a vehicle was observed in the river. Lillooet RCMP and Lillooet Fire Rescue and Traffic Services attended the scene where a Good Samaritan assisted. The female driver was alive and responded to rescuers from below, however was severely hypothermic. The Lillooet RCMP immediately activated resources required for a helicopter and swift water rescue.
Lillooet Fire Rescue descended to the Jeep SUV, which was 247 metres from the road aided by a BC Hydro High Altitude Rescue Team, and technicians with the Pemberton Search and Rescue Team. The driver was extracted, helicopter lifted onto Hwy 40. Once up onto the roadway she was stabilized by EHS and transported by Air Ambulance to Kamloops hospital where unfortunately she passed away despite the exhaustive four hour long rescue effort.
The Lillooet RCMP and BC Coroners Services are continuing their investigation into the incident. The woman’s name is not being released at this time pending next of kin notification.