2 dead in B.C. bush party drownings believed to be high school students
Prince George RCMP say hundreds of people were partying overnight at Gravel Pit Lake
Two people, believed to be teenagers at a local high school, are dead after the vehicle they were in ended up in the water during a lakeside party near Prince George, B.C.
CBC News has learned the identities of the two — a male and a female — but is waiting for authorities to officially release their identities before reporting them.
Police and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating the deaths after recovering two bodies Sunday afternoon from Kwitzil Lake, which is on the side of Highway 16, approximately 40 kilometres west of the city.
Officers say the lake, which is also known as Gravel Pit Lake, was the site of a huge party attended by hundreds late Saturday night. Police were called to the scene at around 4 a.m. PT Sunday after the vehicle went into the water.
Friends of the two people who died have been reporting on social media that they were attending a high school graduation party, and that others in attendance jumped in to the lake to try to rescue the pair.
The high school both victims are believed to have attended, D.P. Todd Secondary, posted a statement via Twitter Sunday afternoon: "Please everyone breathe deep and take care. School will have supports in place for Tue."
Friends say they're shaken and emotional about the tragedy.
Many are sending condolences to the victims' families and describe the pair as beautiful souls.
With files from the CBC's Chad Pawson