Hot rods will be used to help ease heavy hearts.
On Thursday evening, local car clubs will pay tribute to the late Snowbirds public affairs officer, Capt. Jennifer Casey, who died in Sunday’s jet crash in Kamloops, with a parade ending at Kamloops Airport.
Kamloops Car Scene, Pharoah’s Car Club, Roadmen Car Club and possibly others will meet at the A&W restaurant in North Kamloops, at Fortune Drive and Eighth Street, and make their way down Ord Road, loop around the airport roundabout and park along Aviation Way to pay tribute to Casey, in the place where she took her final departure.
Stephanie Moniuk, one of the organizers of Kamloops Car Scene, said the crash hit home for her family. The North Shore resident was at home when the CT-114 Tutor jet plummeted into a Brocklehurst neighbourhood.
Moniuk’s husband came inside and told her what happened just before she looked outside and saw a plume of smoke in the air. Her mother lives near the crash site and had no idea what had happened. In addition, debris landed in the yard of Moniuk’s friend’s uncle.
“We’re OK. We definitely feel bad for the family, of course, with what had happened,” she said. “I was pretty shocked that this happened. I wish it was better for her [Casey].”
About 50 vehicles are expected to pay tribute to Casey, including hot rods and imports. Moniuk will be driving her black and pink, sparkled, souped-up Subaru Forester, with a Canadian flag hung from the back. Other vehicles include Impalas that go up on three wheels, pinstriped and roaring loud hot rods, a white Ferrari and a Mustang V8 on airbag suspension.
The groups will also be collecting donations to support Casey’s family.
“We normally decorate our cars,” Moniuk said. “We’ve been doing birthday parades, so we put balloons and have fun with it. I think we’ll probably decorate our cars, as well. We’re going to go onto Aviation Way and park our cars nicely along there, as well, and then put flags and whatnot on the fence, too.”
Participants will meet at A&W at about 6:45 p.m. on Thursday and depart at about 7:20 p.m. They should arrive at Kamloops Airport shortly after 7:30 p.m. There, they will hang Canadian flags on a fence that has become a makeshift memorial for Casey and display battery-operated candles.
Moniuk also supports a growing push to rename Airport Road in honour of Casey.
"I think that’s a really good memorial to do for her, definitely,” she said of the online petition, which can be found at https://www.change.org/p/kamloops-city-council-memorial-for-capt-jennifer-casey?fbclid=IwAR31a1pD3CXBYm26UbTFNgDzY6QluivyOyX5UtzDHKCXJuo6P8ltlpIgIz8.