March 07, 2014 - 12:07 PM
KELOWNA – The coroner isn’t sure who was driving but either booze or weed played a factor in the deaths of couple when the ATV they were riding launched from Oyama Lake Road last summer.
Joshua Mitchell Hoffart, 30, of Lake Country and Maria Casandra Karountzos, 30, of Creston were found dead 20 metres down a steep slope in a ravine on the east side of Wood Lake in Lake Country on July 19.
Their deaths have been classified as accidental by coroner Andrew Cave.
The pair was reported missing after they didn’t return from a ride on Hoffart's quad to the Oyama Lake Lookout the previous evening.
RCMP officers, Search and Rescue volunteers and Lake Country firefighters found the bodies after a search.
In his report, the coroner finds both Hoffart and Karountzos died from head and neck injuries.
Hoffart had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 per cent, considered to be a moderate level of impairment.
Karountzos had cannabis in her system and a small amount of alcohol, 0.02 per cent. The legal level of impairment in B.C. is 0.05 per cent.
The coroner couldn’t figure out who was driving the ATV.
The report indicates if Hoffart had been driving, the alcohol in his blood stream was a contributing factor. If Karountzos was operating the quad, the marijuana she smoked would have been a factor in the crash.
The ATV was an 800 Can AM Renegade which is designed for one rider and no passengers.
A helmet was found at the crash site, but the coroner couldn’t determine if it has been worn by either victim.
Cave didn’t make any recommendations in his report.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014