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Body recovered after car goes off West Coast Road into ocean

May 31 2012
A helicopter crew assists divers recovering the body of a woman whose car went into the ocean in the Sooke area on Wednesday. RCMP said the woman was driving down the steep driveway of her waterfront home on West Coast Road when the car went out of control. 

A helicopter crew assists divers recovering the body of a woman whose car went into the ocean in the Sooke area on Wednesday. RCMP said the woman was driving down the steep driveway of her waterfront home on West Coast Road when the car went out of control.

Photograph by: Lyle Stafford , timescolonist.com (May 2012)

The woman who died when her car went into the ocean off West Coast Road has been identified as 65-year-old Louise Lemire-Elmore.

Sooke RCMP said the woman was driving her blue Toyota Matrix down the steep driveway of her ocean-front home at 7751 West Coast Rd. when the car went out of control and ended up in the ocean.

The submerged car was discovered around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Sooke RCMP, Otter Point firefighters, a Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue boat and two aircraft from CFB Comox rushed to the scene.

Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue divers recovered the body from the car at 12:50 p.m. as her distraught husband, Bruce Lemire-Elmore, looked on.

Sooke RCMP Sgt. Steve Wright said it’s unclear when the woman’s car plunged into the ocean, but she hadn’t been heard from since 1 p.m. Tuesday. Foul play is not suspected and police are investigating whether speed, a mechanical failure or a medical incident were factors.

A handicap decal hung in the window but Wright said the woman did not have any known medical conditions.

Lemire-Elmore was set to attend a social function in Victoria Tuesday night and was expected to return home. On Wednesday morning, just before 11:30 a.m., a family friend who lives on the property alerted Bruce, who had spent the night at a second family home in Victoria, that the blue car was in the ocean.

Lemire-Elmore and her husband are long-time members of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. A church staffer said Father Michael Favero was at the Lemire-Elmore home comforting the family.

“The husband was on scene to watch his wife [as her body was] recovered and was very devastated, so our heart and prayers are definitely with him and his family during this difficult tragedy,” Wright said.

B.C. Coroners Service will investigate to determine the approximate time of the death.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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