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Inquest delayed for Nelson Search and Rescue’s Sweatman
An inquest into the death of Nelson Search and Rescue member Sheilah Sweatman set to start next week has been delayed, probably until early fall.
Barb McLintock of the BC Coroners Service says the case ran into “legal complexities,” and will not be going ahead next week.
It had been scheduled for four days at the Nelson courthouse beginning Monday.
Presiding coroner Mark Coleman and a jury were expected to hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Sweatman’s death and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.
Prominent Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward, who is representing Sweatman's family, says he expected to be in Nelson next week, and only learned Monday of the delay.
“I did not request the adjournment and the unexpected news took me completely by surprise,” he said in an email.
Sweatman, 29, of Ymir belonged to a swiftwater team called out on June 29 of last year to a bridge south of Creston, where a car had been spotted submerged in the Goat River.
While trying to attach a tow chain to the vehicle, she went overboard and didn’t resurface. Her colleagues found her body the following day.
Her memorial service at Lakeside Park a few weeks later brought emergency responders from around the province to pay their respects.