Police say they are frustrated with the media’s reporting of changes made by investigators in publicly identifying the vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision.
Frank McDermott, 48, was killed in the early-morning hours of Oct. 20 after being struck by a vehicle on Seymour Street near First Avenue.
In the days following McDermott’s death, an RCMP press release identified a silver-coloured Dodge Neon as the vehicle involved in the incident. On Oct. 25, police said the suspect vehicle was actually a blue sedan.
On Tuesday, a third press release said the blue sedan was no longer a suspect vehicle, but that its occupants may be witnesses to the collision.
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said investigators are not pleased with the way the story of the identification errors is unfolding in local media.
“I think it’s losing oomph because, perhaps, the media is portraying that — putting a slant on it that police have changed their story again,” she said. “The important thing to remember is that a man died. We’re trying to solve this.”
On Oct. 24, police seized a silver Neon that had been parked outside a house on Columbia Street. After the car was towed, its owner told KTW the vehicle had been parked on the street since the previous week and was not involved in the collision.
Though the blue sedan is no longer a suspect vehicle, Shelkie said investigators are still hoping to speak to its driver and occupants about what they might have seen.
“We’re looking at some video surveillance from different locations downtown,” she said. “From some locations, it doesn’t show a clear image of the suspect vehicle. We have the time that it happened.”
Investigators believe the collision took place at about 1:30 a.m. and Shelkie said they are hoping to speak with anyone who was in the area at the time.
“When investigating a crime, it isn’t always point A to point B,” she said. “New evidence leads us in new directions. The important thing to remember is we’re working to solve a hit-and-run fatality and we need the public’s help to do so.”