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Family of five submerged in river

A family of five was submerged in the Elk River following a motor vehicle incident on Dec. 1 at approximately 2:30 pm MST. 

Elk Valley RCMP from Fernie and East Kootenay Traffic Services responded to a collision on Hwy 3 about 8 km west of Fernie, BC. 

The family was returning to their home town of Coaldale, AB when their mini-van left the roadway on a straight stretch of highway and plunged into Elk River, coming to rest upside down. 

A passing motorist and his girlfriend rescued all five occupants from the river, before RCMP members and witnesses at the scene - including a traveling physician - performed CPR on the victims. 

CPR was unsuccessful on the female passenger and she was pronounced dead at the Fernie Hospital. A four-year-old child was revived, while the male driver and one of his children were treated at Sparwood Hospital for minor injuries. The other two children were transported to Alberta Children's Hospital by air ambulance with severe injuries. 

Road conditions at the time of the accident were slushy on the center of the roadway due to overnight snowfall. Investigation is still ongoing, but it appears that the mini-van may have been attempting a pass and lost control along the slushy center area. 

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