Muddy joyride in Kelowna could lead to massive fine
A joyride through the mud in Kelowna went sideways last week, and now the vehicle’s owner could be facing a hefty fine.
According to local B.C. Conservation Officers, a Ford Explorer got stuck last Friday in deep mud on private property, with that section of land being billed as sensitive wetlands. Video sent to Global News shows the SUV stuck deep in mud, with a woman claiming she had just purchased her “first vehicle.”
The incident took place on Rifle Road. As of Wednesday, the vehicle was still stuck in the mud.
According to conservation officers, an investigation under the Water Sustainability Act the Forest and Range Practices Act has been initiated. The maximum penalty for the offence could be a fine of up to $1 million, imprisonment for not more than three years or both.
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“We don’t take this type of activity very lightly,” said conservation officer Ken Owens. “The damage and effect to the environment can be very serious and altering. Everything from aquatic species, to carnivores and ungulates can be affected.
“People need to respect the environment. We can’t afford to have people out there causing this type of destruction; there is a zero tolerance.”
The property owner, Steven Corsan, told Global News that “owning this property has given me a sincere appreciation for how seriously the City of Kelowna and the province of British Columbia take the conservation of our waterways and wildlife habitat. It is a level of environmental stewardship that I continuously work hard to meet and I have no tolerance for people who feel they have a right to disrespect and destroy our sensitive ecosystems.”
In the late-night video sent to Global, as the property owner walks towards the stuck Explorer, the engine can be heard revving, multiple times. Upon reaching the stuck Ford, a conversation takes place, with a woman telling the property owner “it’s my bad. I just need my boyfriend to help me take my car out. I just got an Explorer and it’s my first vehicle.”
The owner added “My truck is stuck. I’m only trying to get it out,” along with “I’m the idiot that drove down here,” and “it’s my first truck.”
Corsan added “trespassing is bad enough, but causing damage and then leaving a trail of litter in their path and disregarding the urgency to remove their vehicle from the wetland is completely inexcusable. I hope they receive the penalties they deserve.”
Conversation officers say if you have any information regarding this incident, contact them at 1-877-952-7277.
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