TIB struggles with another tragic death
A Tk’emlups Indian Band member is dead and another is facing charges after a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on band land over the weekend — capping off a tragic week for the First Nations community.
“Everybody’s absolutely devastated,” said former TIB chief Manny Jules.
“We’re just wondering when all this is going to stop.”
David Seymour, 64, was struck and killed at about 10 p.m. on Friday, July 20, as he walked in the area of West Shuswap and Salish roads.
The suspect, 31-year-old Robert Bill, was not tracked down until about six hours later. It’s believed he fled the scene on foot following the collision, turning himself in to police at 4 a.m. on Saturday.
Bill is facing charges of dangerous driving causing death and impaired driving causing death.
He was released from police custody late Saturday after a telephone bail hearing with a justice of the peace in the Lower Mainland.
Bill has a history of violence, having been sentenced to 30 days of house arrest following a domestic assault conviction in 2008.
Eight years earlier, he pleaded guilty following another domestic assault and was placed on a nine-month probation term.
He was also ordered to pay nearly $1,100 in restitution after a mischief conviction in 2002.
Kamloops Rural RCMP seized Bill’s vehicle following Seymour’s death.
Bill is slated to make his first court appearance on the latest charges on Aug. 20.
Seymour’s death came less than a week after his cousin, 29-year-old Jesse Seymour, was killed during a knife fight at a downtown Kamloops house party.
Torbin Alec, also a 29-year-old band member, is in custody facing a second-degree murder charge in relation to the July 15 stabbing death.
He’s expected back in court next month.
Jesse Seymour was the estranged son-in-law of B.C. Lieut. Gov. Steven Point. For that reason, Kamloops defence lawyer Rob Bruneau has been appointed special prosecutor on the file.
Jules said the band is also mourning the death of another Seymour — elder Susan Seymour, who died of cancer earlier this month.
The next step, he said, is to help band members deal with their grief. That, however, is being hampered by the fact that the band’s head of social development, Sandra Seymour, is herself mourning the murder of her son Jesse.
“The loss is unbelievable,” he said.
“A lot of times, it’s numbing once it really starts to sink in.”
This story has been corrected from its previous version, which incorrectly identified Bill as a TIB member. KTW regrets the error.