Vernon man dies in hospital after crashing vehicle into a creek last week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon man dies in hospital after crashing vehicle into a creek last week

January 31, 2020 - 9:00 AM

A 37-year-old Vernon man has died in hospital after the vehicle he was driving left Highway 97 last Friday and ended up submerged a creek that runs adjacent to the road.

According to a Southeast District RCMP media release, the accident happened approximately 10:40 p.m. Jan 24. The vehicle was discovered overturned and almost completely submerged in the water by an off-duty RCMP officer Staff Sergeant Major Robert Daly. The officer happened to be driving on Highway 97, just north of 48 Avenue with his daughter when he saw the vehicle leave the highway.

According to the release, the off-duty officer jumped into the frigid water and attempted to free the driver, who was the only person in the vehicle. The current of the creek combined with the sediment made it challenging for the officer to open the driver’s side door and once opened attempts were made to release the driver, who was wearing a seat belt. Emergency responders who arrived on the scene threw a pair of scissors to Daly allowing him to cut the seat belt and get the driver out of the vehicle bringing his head above the water.

Vernon Fire Department members began life-saving measures on the unresponsive man who was rushed to hospital.

"It was with profound sadness that the RCMP learned that the driver has since succumbed to his injuries in hospital," RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said in the release. "We, the RCMP, wish to extend our deepest condolences to the man’s loved ones."

The RCMP is praising the quick thinking and action of Staff Sergeant Major Robert Daly.

"Staff Sergeant Major Daly is an invaluable member of the Southeast District senior executive team," District Commander of the RCMP Southeast District, Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli said in the release. "The emotional impacts from that day are still fresh for both Robb and his daughter who tried to save a life. We will continue to provide them ongoing support. Their combined efforts were truly heroic."

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