Toddler swept away in Ontario flood unlikely to have survived, Police say.

Published on : February 22, 2018 4:22

Police say they will continue looking for a missing toddler boy who was swept into floodwaters in southwestern Ontario yesterday, but say it is unlikely the boy has survived.

Heavy rain and mild temperatures pushed the Grand River to breach its banks on Wednesday where Kaden Young, a three-year-old boy in a car with his mother plunged into the water near Orangeville, Ont. around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Michelle Hanson was driving with her 3-year-old son, Kaden Young, when she accidentally missed a road-closure sign and her vehicle was swept off the washed-out road and pulled into “deep water.”

Cradling young Kaden, Hanson managed to get out of the van, but “the child slipped from her arms and ended up in the river,” OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell told reporters at the scene. “The van was swept away moments later.”

Family members said Hanson hadn’t seen the road-closure sign due to dark and foggy conditions. It was about 1 a.m. when the vehicle hit the water.

Rescuers were forced to end the search for the day on Wednesday at around 6 p.m. as the skies became too dark for the helicopter to navigate, Nancekivell told the Star. They had covered so much ground that they had gone out of the county and hit Belwood Lake, in total travelling 10 to 14 kilometres along the winding river. Nancekivell said they would resume as early as 7 a.m. Thursday: “As soon as it’s light again, basically.”

OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell says air and ground crews will continue their search for the boy at first light on Thursday.

He says the search team is now in recovery mode rather than a rescue effort because chances are slim he survived more than 24 hours after the incident.

More than 100 kilometres south along the Grand River, a state of emergency remains in place for the City of Brantford, where nearly 5,000 people in 2,200 homes remain under an evacuation order until at least 12 p.m. Thursday.