The missing persons case involving 81-year-old Mr. Knee of Grand Forks was solved this afternoon when he was found deceased over the bank of the Paulson Pass highway just north of the Paulson Bridge. Knee vanished from the Boundary residential care facility in Grand Forks Wednesday afternoon.
A representative from the West Kootenay Highway Service described the incident
“We had a single vehicle accident that happened sometime since yesterday afternoon. The deceased was Grand Forks resident John Knee an 81 one year old man from town here. He suffers from dementia. He was reported missing yesterday. We had a member from town here up there investigating it because we had information that he may have gone to Trail to have his car serviced. We were up there looking around to see if he could find something of this nature. On this side of the Paulson Bridge about three kilometres towards Castlegar he noted some fresh tire tracks on the shoulder of the east bound lane and the tracks were indicating that something had gone over the embankment. He looked into it further and he located this car belonging to Mr. Knee and he was found deceased inside the vehicle.”
“We’re still investigating it but right now it looks like the fact that Mr Knee had a medical condition with the dementia that he should not have been driving. He didn’t have a driver’s licence and the roads looked to have been icy at the time. All of that seems to have contributed to the crash.”
“We’ve notified the family and have had our crash analysts up there looking at it to see if there is some other information they can come up with when they do their calculations. It was a benign incident. He seems to have lost control of the vehicle and over the edge it went.”
“It’s very unfortunate. I don’t know what kind of information we’ll get from the investigation but we don’t suspect drugs and alcohol were involved. It looks like a combination of icy roads and his condition. That stretch of the Paulson pass is terrible. As you come off the bridge there it’s always icy. That’s what it looks like. He was heading back towards Grand Forks on that series of turns coming into the bridge. On the last one he lost control of the vehicle and over the edge he went.”
Another accident happened on the same stretch of highway this afternoon while police were investigating Mr. Knee’s accident. According to early reports black ice was to blame for a car that slid out of control crashing into the barrier of the Paulson Bridge high above the valley floor. That accident caused minor injuries.