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Bail granted to man charged in hit and run crash that killed three people in Kamloops

Reid McKnight is charged. His defence lawyer urges the community not to rush to judgment
fatal crash first ave
According to police, a pickup truck blew through a stop sign on Battle Street and crashed into a southbound vehicle travelling up First Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 3.

The Canadian Armed Forces soldier facing charges in connection with a hit-and-run collision in downtown Kamloops last year that left three young Nigerian men dead has been released on bail.

Reid McKnight was granted bail following a hearing on Saturday morning (Sept. 26) in front of a justice of the peace. The 31-year-old spent the night in jail after he was arrested on Friday and charged with three counts of dangerous driving causing death and one count of failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.

The charges stem from a violent collision at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2019, at the intersection of Battle Street and First Avenue.

Police have said they believe a blue Ford pickup truck driven by McKnight sped through a stop sign on Battle Street and struck a Dodge Charger heading south on First Avenue.

Daniel Okocha, 22, and Feyisola Adebowale, 28, were in the Dodge and died at the scene. Oluwatosin Adeojo, 31, died in hospital nine days later. A fourth occupant of the car survived the collision.

The three victims were Nigerian nationals, and each of them had been international students at Thompson Rivers University. They were heading home after a night out downtown when the collision took place.

McKnight is an Afghanistan veteran and a full-time member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers. The Department of National Defence told KTW he was off-duty at the time of the crash.

Defence lawyer Marshall Putnam urged the community to avoid rushing to judgment.

“He’s presumed innocent,” Putnam said. “Just because he’s facing serious charges doesn’t mean he’s not innocent. In my experience, these types of cases are profoundly complicated to investigate and difficult to prosecute.”

In addition to the charges related to the collision, McKnight is also charged with two firearms allegations — careless use of a firearm and improper storage of a firearm — dating to Nov. 4, 2019, when police executed a search warrant at his home.

McKnight is slated to make his first appearance in Kamloops provincial court on Oct. 22.