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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP looking for man suspected of $25,000 credit fraud

Police allege suspect racked up debt under another person’s name

Man charged in Nanaimo mall crash-up fit for trial, says lawyer

Defence counsel for Joshua Tyler Schaeffer anticipates bail hearing Jan. 28

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

Lantzville taps into new water connection policy

Newly adopted policy gives staff increased authority over issuing new water connections

City of Nanaimo announces 10 new pieces of temporary outdoor public art

Sculptures will be installed at Maffeo Sutton Park and McGregor Park in May

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

Most Read