Search continues for third missing man from fatal Sooke crash

Search continues for third missing man from fatal Sooke crash
WatchCrews are still scouring the Sooke River, holding on to hope that one of the three men involved in a devastating crash may still be alive. The trio went missing Friday and two bodies have been recovered. Julian Kolsut reports.

Rescue crews are continuing their search for a young man they hope is still alive after a crash that killed his two friends.

Friends say A.J. Jensen is still missing. He and his friends Eric Blackmore and Cory Mills went out for a drive Friday.

When they didn’t return home, a massive search was launched on Saturday.

Their truck was found in Sooke River Sunday.

“Even today we are trying to remain positive. You never know what might turn up. Maybe he crawled into a cabin. We don’t know,” said Kathryn Farr of Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue.

A bylaw officer found the bumper of the truck, which led crews to the vehicle. They then found the two bodies further down the river along the shore.

“We have a general idea where we believe the vehicle went in, although we cannot confirm it due to the large amount of the water that went through the area,” said Cpl. Joe Holmes of the Sooke RCMP.

Investigators say the massive rainfall that hit the area is being looked at as a factor in the crash. Water levels reportedly hit six metres.

They think the three may have been going up Sooke River Road to the potholes and were potentially swept away.

“The roadway from all indications at this point appeared to be covered in water, river water, fast-moving water. Concrete barriers were actually moved,” said Holmes.

“Just the amount of force just introduced on to the roadway and items around the roadway.”

Water knocked over trees and left large logs in the lower Sooke Potholes parking lot. The area is known as a spot for puddle hopping when drivers take their cars through pools of water.

The road is generally in rough condition through most of the year.

“A lot of kids do that, just for fun,” said local high school student Reilly Richards.

“[The road] especially at night time, it gets really sketchy, especially if you are a new driver.”

Officials say they don’t know why the three young men were out in this region and they are investigating which road they may have taken into this flooded and dangerous area.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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