While a criminal trial has yet to begin, lawsuits have been filed against the man charged in connection to a fatal hit-and-run more than two years ago that claimed the lives of three Nigerian students in Kamloops.
Reid McKnight, a Canadian Armed Forces solider, is charged with failure to stop at an accident involving death and three counts of dangerous driving causing death. He is alleged to have been the driver who fled a crash in downtown Kamloops on Nov. 3, 2019. The collision claimed the lives of Daniel Okocha, Feyisola Adebowale and Oluwatosin Adeojo, all of whom were international students at Thompson Rivers University. A fourth passenger in their vehicle survived the crash with injuries.
The parents of Adebowale and Okocha each launched civil suits against McKnight on Oct. 28, seeking unspecified amounts in costs and damages.
Both lawsuits have named McKnight, the estate of Adeojo, who was driving and also died in the crash, and a John Doe, the registered owner of the students' vehicle, as defendants.
The lawsuits claim the collision and deaths were caused by negligence on the part of either, all or a combination of the defendants. Both civil suits are seeking general damages, special damages and costs, including expenses for funerals, travel, airfare, accommodation and wage loss.
Both plaintiffs are being represented by the same legal counsel.
BC Hydro is also suing McKnight for $17,000 in connection with damages to its infrastructure from the crash, court documents state. That suit was filed on Oct. 19.
A statement of defence has not yet been filed and none of the claims made have been proven in court.
McKnight, the registered owner of the pickup truck that hit the car carrying the students, was charged in September 2020, though he was arrested and released the day after the incident pending further investigation.
Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Battle Street and First Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2019, after Mcknight's blue Ford Ranger pickup truck collided with a red Dodge Charger carrying the students.
Investigators believe the truck, travelling westbound on Battle, sped through a stop sign and struck the car carrying the students, which was heading south (uphill) on First.
McKnight’s next court date for his criminal proceedings is Nov. 29, at which time he is expected to fix a date for future court proceedings.
—This story was updated Nov. 10 with more information from the notice of civil claim