The recreational canal in Welland, Ont.
Credits: ALLAN BENNER
Gilles Bilodeau, a supervisor for Rankin Construction building a new bridge across the waterway, said workers arrived to learn that a vehicle collision had occurred at 6:05 a.m., leaving a splintered utility pole in a ditch beside the entrance to their work site along the highway, near the bridge over the old canal.
"We don't know what happened," Bilodeau said. "We just got here for work and there was an accident here this morning, before we got here. They were just cleaning up the accident when we got here.
"We went to work and we saw the body in the canal."
He said two construction workers were the first to see the body floating in the water. They immediately called 911.
The Niagara Regional Police marine unit, Welland firefighters and Niagara Emergency Medical Services paramedics arrived at the scene at about 7:43 a.m.
Bilodeau said emergency workers recovered the body by making their way across the ice along the north bank of the canal.
Regional police said they believe the deceased woman was the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash -- which is being investigated by the OPP.
Police provided few details about what happened Wednesday morning, including the identity of the woman, a possible age and the type of vehicle involved in the crash.