Tragic death in crash followed accidental shooting
One man is dead and another is in hospital after a celebration in the bush south of Kamloops took a tragic turn on the weekend.
Emergency crews were called to the area of Scuitto Lake, about 20 kilometres south of Barnhartvale, just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, after a 25-year-old Kamloops man called 911 to say he’d been shot in the wrist by accident.
The victim and a friend then got into a truck to drive to meet an ambulance.
In the area of Robbins Range and Campbell Range roads, the driver of the truck lost control.
The vehicle rolled and both men were ejected.
They were flown by air ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital.
The 25-year-old shooting victim — identified as Thompson Rivers University student Michael Benjamin Kirkey — died six hours later as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
The other man is listed in serious condition.
Kamloops RCMP Const. Bernie Ward said the men were among a larger group partying in the remote area, shooting clay pigeons with shotguns.
“It was a celebration of some sort that brought these people together,” he said, adding alcohol likely played a role in the events.
Ward described the area as a “back-bush” section of private property.
He said it’s still unclear if the group was allowed to be on the property or if the shooting was done legally.
But, he said, investigators are fairly certain the initial shotgun injury was not intentional.
“The whole totality will be looked at,” he said.
“But, at this point, we believe it’s accidental.”
Ward said the investigation is ongoing, adding Mounties are looking to speak with anyone who was at the party who has not already talked with police.