Driver abandons his vehicle mid-stream

A romp through the Red Deer River near Bower Ponds has landed a driver in hot water.

Key Towing workers hook up chains to a sport utility vehicle’s front end so they can winch it out of the Red Deer River just upstream of Bower Ponds Tuesday.

Key Towing workers hook up chains to a sport utility vehicle’s front end so they can winch it out of the Red Deer River just upstream of Bower Ponds Tuesday.

A romp through the Red Deer River near Bower Ponds has landed a driver in hot water.

Red Deer Mounties were called out to the boat launch area at about 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday where they found a sport utility vehicle tied to a tree.

Police spokeswoman Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said the vehicle was immersed in deep water.

“It either stalled or got stuck,” DeHeer said.

The driver had tied the SUV to the tree, with the intent of driving it out at another time.

The vehicle was towed out of the water about 11 a.m.

DeHeer said the driver was contacted.

The vehicle was not stolen and no criminal charges will be laid.

“There are some bylaw issues that are being investigated,” DeHeer said.

“There could be some environmental issues with respect to oil in the river, which is also being investigated.”

Paul Goranson, development services director with the City of Red Deer, said there are no city bylaws applicable in these types of instances.

But some provincial and federal regulations may apply, he said.

For one thing, driving into the river can be disruptive to fish habitat.

“You can only disrupt the river at certain times,” Goranson said. “You can’t do it during spawning. Now is the time you can’t do that.”

People are also forbidden from putting any contaminant materials in the water, he said.

A similar incident occurred on June 14 within the same vicinity. A sport utility vehicle had to be pulled out of the river.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com