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One dead, three in hospital following botched 911 call

Posted on Apr 18 2010
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One woman is dead and the others are recovering in hospital, in a case that poses more questions than it does answers.

The Regina RCMP held a late afternoon press conference -- less than an hour before most of the city's newscasts -- to announce their findings regarding a sudden death on Highway 942, also near Big River.
Police say the woman was travelling in the car with the three others on April 8th. Early information indicates the car became stuck in several feet of water.
Police would later find a woman's body, belonging to one of the four people in car, four days after the car was last seen -- but no one followed up on what happened to the other three occupants of the car.
"I want to offer my sincere regrets to all involved," Chief Supt. Randy Beck said in the late news conference.
The other surviving woman tried calling 911 three times -- but only one call got through. The successful call was placed with Sask. 911, specifically the Prince Albert Call Centre, and rerouted to RCMP Division Operational Communication Centre.
Beck said the caller asked for help, leading the dispatcher to call a tow truck to find the vehicle -- but the tow truck never found the car and the survivors were left on their own for another seven days before another search was launched.
It is not clear why the call was never passed on to RCMP officers. "The bottom line is a request for assistance was received and assistance wasn't actually received," Beck said.
Eventually an air and ground search was called a week later, which led officers to find the woman and two children in the car on April 15th. All three people were alive, evacuated and transported to Shellbrook Hospital. They are in stable condition.
The RCMP has asked for a full review of the 911 call.
"I have asked the Ministry of Public Safety and Policing to appoint and independent agency to review the manner in which the 911 call was handled by the RCMP," Beck said. "The RCMP will cooperate fully with an independent review to ensure this type of incident does not occur again."
The identity of the deceased female is not being released. Beck said the 911 dispatcher continues to work but is emotionally affected by the outcome of the case. Big River is about three and a half hours north of Saskatoon by car. Global News is following this story and will have more on this Saturday.
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