Plane goes down near Winfield Thursday night: Four dead

After taking off from Kelowna airport, small plane went down north of Beaver Lake Road with former Alberta premier on board

Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice among the dead in plane crash near Beaver Lake Road in Winfield

Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice among the dead in plane crash near Beaver Lake Road in Winfield

Among the dead from a Thursday night plane crash near Lake Country is former Alberta premier Jim Prentice.

A former political colleague of Prentice confirmed the news Friday morning with the Capital News.

Prentice, 60, was with a group of four flying out of Kelowna in a Cessna Citation, following a golf trip. No one survived.

Prentice was a former Alberta PC premier and former federal cabinet minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

He left federal politics in 2010 and took a job as the senior executive vice-president of CIBC. He later ran for the Alberta PC leadership.



While Prentice’s political colleagues have confirmed his death, the authorities are taking a cautious approach.

“Our priority is to first share information with the families of those individuals killed in this tragic crash,” says Cpl. Moskaluk.

Poilice are holding a press conference in Lake Country to update the media at 3:30 p.m.

Following confirmation that next of kin have been notified, information about the identities of those on board may be released publicly.

Moskaluk described the damage at the site as “catastrophic” and said  the RCMP will continue to secure the crash site, awaiting the arrival of the Transportation Safety Board.

The RCMP confirms it is also working with the BC Coroner’s Service.

Transportation Safety Board  members are also on sight.

Lake Country rescue crews responded to the original call Thursday night around 10 and set up at a temporary command post on Beaver Lake Road, near Haldane Road.

A rescue helicopter was sent to the scene from Comox Thursday night.

Bill Yearwood, a spokesperson from TSB, said a Cessna Citation aircraft with four people on board went down at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday after taking off from Kelowna on a flight to Springbank, outside Calgary.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk confirmed police were alerted when the private business-style jet lost radar contact.

“Investigators located the crash site approximately four kilometres into a heavily wooded area east of Lake Country,” Moskaluk said in a news release.

The site of the crash was northeast of Winfield.