YELLOW QUILL FIRST NATION, Sask. — Two children who survived a deadly crash when a minivan rolled into a slough in east-central Saskatchewan were saved by people who jumped into the water.
RCMP Sgt. Earl LeBlanc says three passersby saw the accident Monday on Yellow Quill First Nation, about 230 kilometres east of Saskatoon, and stopped to help.
"One assisted from the side of the road," LeBlanc told The Canadian Press Tuesday.
They pulled a 10-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl from the submerged van.
LeBlanc said the actions of the passersby probably saved the children, who were taken to hospital and were reported to be in good condition.
Woman, girl died at the scene
"I'm certain to say that their actions would have assisted in making sure that these individuals are today safe."
The passersby also pulled a 36-year-old woman and an eight-year-old girl from the minivan, but they died at the scene.
The Kelvington Mobile Health Services underwater search team was called because one little boy couldn't be found.
"Two actually entered the water and were able to take two of the children out."
Diver Trevor Lowey says the slough was about 1 1/2 metres deep, and the minivan was lying on the driver's side with the passenger side sticking above the water about 20 centimetres. But the water was too murky to see more than a few centimetres, he said.
"As for being able to see into the vehicle, there's no way you could see through the water to see if there was anybody inside," he said.
Lowey said that meant the search for the nine-year-old boy had to be done "by feel and by touch." They found the boy's body in the minivan.
Names of victims not yet released
"You're kind of holding out hope that maybe the kid was missing school that day and at home blissfully unaware, playing video games, of what transpired with his family," said Lowey.
"You're searching through the vehicle and you grab a piece of cloth that turns out to be a pant leg, and you feel the leg, and you ... move down and ... find the foot and you go 'OK, yeah, I found him.' It's the worst possible outcome."
"It's the worst possible outcome."
RCMP were still investigating the cause of the rollover and the names of the victims have not been released.
In 2008, a woman and five children died when the SUV they were in rolled into a slough near St. Brieux, about 115 kilometres northeast of Yellow Quill.
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