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‘Devastating’ Off-roading Incident in Lac Ste Anne County Claims Lives of Family of Three

The tragic loss of a family of three in a mother, father, and their son culminated in the recovery of their bodies following an apparent off-roading accident that police have tied to unseasonably thin ice in Lac Ste Anne County, Northwest of Edmonton. 

In a media release, Parkland RCMP said 39-year-old Kelly Pelsma, his wife 37-year-old Laura Pelsma, and their eight-year-old son Dylan were last heard from on December 23. They were reported missing on Christmas Day when they did not arrive for a function. 

The Mounties, along with emergency service personnel, Edmonton Police Air1 Helicopter, and ground search and rescue volunteers centred their search upon the last known location of the family. On Boxing Day, the search narrowed to an area near the Alexis Bridge of Range Road 40A. The family was believed to be using a “side-by-side” utility vehicle, police said. A recovery operation was performed by Parkland RCMP, Lac Ste Anne County RCMP, and a dive team. 

“This is a sad outcome, the loss of any life is tragic” RCMP Public Information Officer Corporal Patrick Lambert said. 

“The loss of this entire family is truly devastating over the holidays. Our thoughts are with the community and their extended family.” 

The bodies have been transported to Edmonton for an autopsy, which police say will be performed this week. 

Meanwhile, Alberta RCMP are highlighting, “the dangers of unpredictable thin ice and open water,” given relative unseasonably mild temperatures as of late.

Ice should be at least 15cm thick to walk or skate upon, 20cm for a group, and at least 25cm for snowmobiling or using off highway vehicles.

Photo credit: Laura Pelsma, Facebook.