On May 5th, 2012, at approximately 10:00am an elderly couple from Alaska were traveling to Virginia on Highway 16 when their vehicles left the highway and landed in a small lake near Meier Road in Cluculz Lake.
The vehicle remained afloat for approximately 10 minutes and both occupants were unable to exit the car. Blake Olesiuk, a brave man from Fort St. James stopped to offer his assistance and courageously swam to the vehicle which was now approximately 40 feet from the shore in a water depth of approximately 8 feet in frigid water.
Mr. Olesiuk pulled both occupants from the passenger side window and brought them safely to shore. Both occupants escaped without injury of what could have been a terrible tragedy. The driver claimed to have fallen asleep at the wheel after a long night of travel.
Another male had assisted with the rescue who had waded out in the water to pull the occupants to the shore. This brave man is yet to be identified by the Vanderhoof RCMP. Please contact the Vanderhoof RCMP at 250-567-222 as this man should be commended for his bravery.
The Vanderhoof RCMP would like to remind those who are travelling to please pull off the road in a safe location for a rest when feeling fatigued. Driving while fatigued not only puts the life of the driver at risk but all others on the highway.