2 children dead after off-road vehicle rolls into lake near Chilliwack

Two children who went missing after an off-road vehicle plunged into a lake east of Vancouver were found dead Sunday evening, police say.

“It is with deep sorrow that we report that the bodies of two children have been recovered from this tragic accident,” Chilliwack RCMP Sgt. Krista Vrolyk said in a statement.

RCMP said they were called to the area around 40 kilometres east of Chilliwack, B.C., just before 1 p.m. PT.

Two adults and three children were riding an off-road vehicle on Foley Creek Forest Service Road near Foley Lake when they lost control and became submerged in more than four metres of water, Sgt. Vrolyk said.

Two adults and one of the children were able to escape, but two of the children were reported missing. It’s not known how old they were. 

The B.C. Coroners Service said in a statement Monday morning it is not disclosing the children’s ages or genders “to protect the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of the deceased.”

The RCMP Dive Team, Chilliwack Search and Rescue, Chilliwack River Valley Fire Department and B.C. Ambulance Service all responded to the scene Sunday. (Shane MacKichan)

‘Tragic accident’

Emergency crews and the RCMP’s dive team were called to search the area. 

Vrolyk said it was a “tragic accident.”

In its statement, the coroners service said it is in the early stages of investigating and could not provide further details. 

Guy Avidan was camping with his girlfriend near the rapids staging area this weekend. He said he saw an RCMP vehicle entering the area at around 4 p.m. PT on Sunday when they were preparing to leave.

Avidan said there were many people in the area this weekend, despite the rain on Sunday. He was saddened to hear about the missing children, he said. 

“This is a very popular area for off-roading and camping. There were lots of people camping,” he said. 

“You don’t feel good about incidents like that.”

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