Tragedy in Kinkora

Colin MacLean
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Body of Justin Brad Hunter found near accident scene

KINKORA – The body of Justin Brad Hunter was recovered from a wooded area in Kinkora on Thursday, about 500 metres from where his car was found the previous evening – and within a stone's throw from help.

The 32-year-old's grey 2007 Mazda 6 went off Route 225, just west of Kinkora, sometime Wednesday morning.

See Location Map HERE

The car rode up a guardrail, flipped and slid down an embankment. It wasn't spotted again until a passing trucker noticed it that evening.

A ground search got underway shortly thereafter, but Hunter was not located until about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

It's not the news the search teams were hoping for, said Sgt. Andrew Blackadar of the RCMP.

"They're holding up as best as can be expected," said Blackadar shortly after news broke that Hunter had been found.

"The searchers are always relieved that they've been able to find the person they were looking for. Of course it's a huge disappointment because they didn't find him alive. But they certainly train for that and they know the possible outcomes when they're out here searching," he said.

It's impossible to say why Hunter walked the way he did, added Blackadar, but it appears he passed close to at least one home before collapsing.

"It's hard to say at this point if there were any injuries from the motor vehicle crash, but obviously he was disoriented," he said. 

"The searchers are always relieved that they've been able to find the person they were looking for. Of course it's a huge disappointment because they didn't find him alive." Sgt. Andrew Blackadar

"He was walking in the opposite direction of the highway, following a tree line —which is where we found him."

Hunter, of Kinkora, was last seen at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday when some friends dropped him off at home.

When his car was spotted and reported to RCMP, a dog team and members of the P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue team were called out to search the area around the vehicle.

The first RCMP officers on the scene found tracks around the car but high winds and blowing snow quickly filled them in.

The search was called off shortly after midnight on Thursday but resumed later that morning.

Search and rescue volunteers, firefighters, P.E.I. Department of Transportation crews and RCMP dog, helicopter and patrol units all assisted in the search.

The investigation into Hunter's death is still ongoing and an autopsy will be conducted as soon as possible, said Blackadar.

The RCMP issued a thank you to the public and all the volunteers who aided in the search.


Organizations: RCMP

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Recent comments

  • Becky
    January 05, 2013 - 01:50

    My sincere condolences to the family of Justin. How very sad and tragic to lose someone under these conditions. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I would also like to take this opportunity to express appreciation and thanks to our own PEI GROUND SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM, an amazing group of dedicated and talented volunteers. I wonder if the general public has any idea as to the level of qualifications, wide range of ongoing skills training, the amount of time and commitment these volunteers make to help ensure the safety and rescue of Islanders in need. They spend countless hours in classroom and practical exercise sessions sessions, attendng presentations and seminars, becoming certified in many search tools and techniques, have First Aid and CPR certifications in classroom and outdoor practical training sessions, often training in very isolated and adverse weather conditions and gaining new levels of expertise in search techniques. Islanders should be very proud that we have such a dedicated and qualified group of volunteer searchers. They work extremely hard and dedicate many weekends throughout the year to training (with no compensation whatsoever except for the satisfaction of finding someone's loved one). Thanks again PEI Ground Search and Rescue for all your hard work and dedication. It does not go unnoticed. Thanks also to the RCMP who help coordinate training for this exceptional group of PEI citizens.

  • a question
    January 04, 2013 - 20:30

    My question is why didn't RCMP look fmore extensively for him when they were called to the scene? Footprints may have been slightly covered, but they still should have called in reinforcements to search far and wide....after all he was found only 500 meters from his car? How hard did they search?

  • Bonnie Jordan
    January 04, 2013 - 11:28

    My sincere & deepest condolences are going out to the family & friends of this young man. I had been praying that he would be found safe...this is just so sad. ~ I certainly can understand the depth of sadness that all of his family & friends are feeling, as it was just 4 yrs on Jan 1st that my dear friend/sister lost her son (Kyle Bambrick) under similar circumstances. Words are hard to find when a tragedy like this happens, and my respect goes out to the search & rescue workers who looked for him. Their job is a difficult one, and it is never easy when this is the outcome. Some comfort comes when they are able to find the person who they are looking for, and it gives the family some closure knowing that they will be able to lay their loved one to many never get that chance, and although it doesn't take away the sadness...I am grateful that Justin was found. ~ I hope his family knows that they are not alone in their grief, and that others are sharing in their sadness & loss at this most difficult time. God bless you all, and may he wrap you in his arms and comfort you through this tragic loss. My just heart breaks for you all. ~ RIP, Justin! :o(

  • paul
    January 03, 2013 - 18:39

    I am so sadden by the loss of this young mans life my heart goes out to the family. At this very hard time there is no words that will ease the pain they must be going through. And I am once again discusted at compass and the guardain for there poor taste of reporting this story

  • Sylvia
    January 03, 2013 - 16:40

    My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hunter's family. I was so hoping he'd be found and would be o.k.

  • Bmac
    January 03, 2013 - 15:56

    My condolences to the family...

  • Lailah
    January 03, 2013 - 15:33

    what a sin, my thoughts and sympathys go to his family and friends

  • edith desroche
    January 03, 2013 - 15:29

    Oh My. I prayed so much that he would be found safe and sound!! My deepest sympathy to family and friends!

  • Candrayo
    January 03, 2013 - 14:58

    Sad ending, I am so sorry for the family. My deepest condolences go out to you!

  • Shirley
    January 03, 2013 - 14:50

    This is so sad I was praying he would be ok. Heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

    • Lynn
      January 03, 2013 - 15:00

      Oh, no, that's horrible. I, too, was praying he would be found safe and sound. My sympathy to his family at this very difficult time.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 03, 2013 - 14:40

    My condolences to the family.