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Search for missing child swept up in Grand River now a recovery mission

Last Updated Feb 22, 2018 at 8:26 am EDT

The rescue effort for a missing three-year-old boy swept into the Grand River has now turned to a recovery mission, Ontario provincial police confirmed to CityNews.

OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell said Thursday is unlikely the boy, who family have identified as Kaden Young, would have survived the night. OPP search teams will be back at first light to search for the body.

The child went missing after a car was swept into the Grand River near Orangeville on Wednesday.

Nancekivell said around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, a minivan was going south on 10th Line and went around a road closure sign, drove into some water and was swept into the river by the strong current near Waldemar, west of Orangeville.

A woman was pulled from the car, which was swept approximately four kilometres downstream and then became lodged in the riverbed near the Highway 109 bridge. The woman was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.

Nancekivell confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the woman was carrying a child in her arms when she exited the vehicle but that the boy slipped from her grip and ended up in the river.

The boy’s father was there to assist in the search for his son but did not speak with reporters.

Centre Wellington Fire and Rescue crews along with OPP emergency response team and OPP dive team were searching the area and were hopeful it would be a rescue and not a recovery. They temporarily suspended their search early Wednesday evening.

Centre Wellington Fire Chief Brad Patton called it a complex and risky operation due to fast moving cold water with large ice flows.

“The water level is up considerably,” explained Nancekivell. “We’ve had two centimetres of rain in the last 48 hours. Grand Valley is flooded; this area is flooded,

“We’ve had such a fast melt lately. That’s what’s caused this.”