NEWS

Body of N.S. senior pulled from sunken car near ferry

04/02/2013 12:45 EDT | Updated 06/02/2013 05:12 EDT
Police have removed the body of a Nova Scotia senior from a submerged car near where an automobile drove off the Englishtown ferry into the icy waters of St. Anns Bay in Cape Breton last week.

Police confirmed the body of Jerry Hengeveld, 81, was recovered from a Toyota Camry.

Staff Sgt. Craig Yorke said sonar picked up the image of an object about 200 metres away from the ferry.

Divers attached a cable to the car, and a tow truck pulled it toward the shore before the body was removed around 2 p.m. Tuesday. The car was then pulled out of the water, the CBC's Gary Mansfield reported from the scene.

The car went into the water on March 25. Witnesses said the vehicle drove across the ferry, off an upright ramp, and plunged into the fast-moving water.

Police do not suspect foul play in the case, but the cause is under investigation.

Hengeveld's son and daughter had shared their fears Tuesday morning that their father was in the car.

On Saturday, police said they were investigating the possibility that Hengeveld was the driver.

His children, Linda Halliday and Hank Hengeveld, said the incident has to be an accident.

"We do know 100 per cent it was not a suicide, because our dad had so much love for us, and he loved life. There's absolutely no way this was done purposely," said Halliday.

"I think he must have had a heart attack and his foot slipped on the accelerator," said Hengeveld. "Or we hear there might have been a recall on that type of vehicle back in 2010, and we do not know if he had it corrected or if someone else had it corrected before he bought the car."

Halliday said her father had been visiting friends in Cape Breton but her family called her asking where he was on Friday.

Jerry Hengeveld was recorded on a security video at a gas station near the ferry shortly before his car was seen going into the water.

Englishtown is located 61 kilometres northwest of Sydney.

The ferry runs across St. Anns Harbour connected to an underwater cable. It provides a shortcut to the Cabot Trail in northern Cape Breton.

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