GRANT COUNTY, Wash. -- Witnesses helped save the lives of two children who were involved in a crash Sunday afternoon near Moses Lake.
Authorities said three boys and their father were out fishing in a popular spot south of Coulee City before the crash.
Grant County Undersheriff Dave Ponozzo said he knew the family personally.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of seriously sad people in the city of Ephrata,” said Ponozzo.
Ponozzo said the driver, Scott Kolves, was an employee of the Ephrata School District. He was out with his sons who were ages 8, 10 and 12.
The family’s car was driven off the road and down a steep embankment. Officials said the car ended up upside down in the canal and floated downstream about 100 yards before coming to rest in about 15 feet of water. Authorities said Kolves and his sons made it out of the car.
A couple of people fishing pulled the 10 and 12-year-old boys to shore but could not reach the father or the 8-year-old, Korey, before they submerged.
A Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Fish and Wildlife agent spotted the boy five miles downstream about 45 minutes later. They decided to jump in the frigid and fast flowing water to pull him out.
“This was a decision we left to them, definitely an ethical decision for them under the circumstances,” said Ponozzo.
Ponozzo said they performed CPR on Korey, but doctors later pronounced him dead at a Moses Lake hospital.
On Monday, a search crew worked to find the body of the father who they presumed drowned.
Ponozzo said the two brothers that survived were expected to be okay.
Authorities said the official search for the father would end Monday.
Deputies and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation planned to keep a lookout when they are in the area.