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

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Golden Country: What caused the Hope Slide?

For many years, earthquakes were thought to be the cause. Were they?

New bus route from Merritt to Prince George will pick-up in Cache Creek, Clinton

Merritt Shuttle Bus Service will also run from Merritt to Langley via Spences Bridge

Fossil from Marble Canyon could become a provincial symbol

British Columbians can vote for a provincial fossil, with a local candidate in the running

Fire chiefs for the day have wonderful time

Two Ashcroft students got engine rides, a fire hall tour, and more

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Most Read