Dive crews work to rescue a woman whose car plunged into the Serpentine River Monday.

Dive crews work to rescue a woman whose car plunged into the Serpentine River Monday.

Serpentine crash witnesses report second vehicle

Police investigating a crash that sent a Vancouver woman careening through a Highway 99 barrier into the Serpentine River Monday say a second vehicle may have contributed to the driver’s loss of control.

“It would appear there might have been another vehicle involved… that caused this vehicle to swerve and lose control,” said Deas Island RCMP Sgt. Evan Albert.

Contrary to initial reports, “speed is not an issue,” Albert said.

Police and rescue crews were called to the 4600-block of Highway 99 around 9:50 a.m. Feb. 28, after a southbound late-model Honda Civic plunged off the Serpentine River bridge into the four-metre deep murky water. The black car settled upside-down on the river bottom.

The Honda was not visible from the surface, Crescent Beach Coast Guard Auxiliary member Sig Kristensen told Peace Arch News. That crew was tasked to assist in a “barrier search” for the car and driver, monitoring the river downstream for signs the woman or vehicle had drifted from the original crash site.

The driver, described as in her mid-20s, was underwater 90 minutes before a police dive team was able to locate the vehicle and extricate her.

Resuscitated and airlifted to hospital, the woman’s condition had not improved as of Thursday, Albert said.

“It’s the same status as far as her medical condition,” he said. “She’s… not doing well.”

Albert said witness interviews led police to believe a second vehicle was involved, and investigation is ongoing to determine exactly what transpired.

At this point, no charges have been laid, Albert said.