Search continues for Cache Creek resident Clayton Cassidy

RCMP and Kamloops Search and Rescue are searching a section of the creek in Cache Creek, after Cassidy was reported missing Friday.

Ashcroft RCMP have confirmed that the RCMP and Kamloops Search and Rescue are searching a segment of Cache Creek, near the Village of Cache Creek, for missing persons Clayton Cassidy.

On the morning of Friday, May 5 the Ashcroft RCMP received a report that 59-year-old Cassidy, a longtime resident of Cache Creek and the village’s fire chief, was missing. He was last known to have been checking creek water levels east of the village near the Brookside Campground early Friday morning.

Cassidy had last communicated with someone early Friday morning, and was seen by the river. His vehicle was also found at the location.

Kamloops Search and Rescue (KSAR) was called in at approximately 9 a.m. to assist with the search, says KSAR manager Alan Hobler. “We have 12 people out there now, and will be bringing in more searchers. We’ll also be bringing in the search and rescue drone.” A search and rescue dog and a helicopter were also at the scene.

“We’re searching extensively by land and helicopter,” says Hobler. “When the water levels drop, we’ll be re-searching some areas.” He said that the team would probably stand down overnight and if necessary continue the search on Saturday.

High water in Cache Creek was reported starting late last evening, with flooding at the Brookside Campground and along Cache Creek near Trans-Canada Highway East.

The culverts at Quartz Road and the Dairy Queen were in danger of being plugged by debris, and Village of Cache Creek crew, as well as private contractors, worked into the early hours to clear the debris and shore up banks.

In June 2016, Cassidy was the first person in the Fraser-Nicola riding to be awarded the B.C. government’s Medal of Good Citizenship. The award recognizes outstanding citizens for their “exceptional long-term service, and contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness, and contributions to community life.”

At the medal ceremony Wendy Coomber, speaking on behalf of the Cache Creek Beautification Society, which nominated Cassidy for the honour, said “Clayton has demonstrated amazing leadership and selfless devotion to his community for many years.” He has been a member of the Cache Creek volunteer fire department for more than 30 years, serving as chief from 1992 to 2002, and again as of May 2016. He has coached minor hockey, soccer, and minor softball and served on myriad community committees, including the Cache Creek Elementary School Parent Advisory Council and the Graffiti Days committee.

However, it was his work in the aftermath of the flood of May 2015 that many people singled out. “After the worst part of the flood was over, I drove up part of Stage Road to look at the damage,” said Coomber, “and there was Clayton, walking towards us in his gumboots with an umbrella, and that irrepressible grin of his.”

Other towns in the region including Logan Lake and Lytton are also dealing with flooding due to heavy snowmelt.