The 72-year-old driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal weekend accident was remanded in custody in Penticton Provincial Court Monday.
Frank Tamok of Olalla is charged under the Criminal Code with dangerous driving causing death and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the collision Sunday at about 1:35 p.m. near the Penticton Regional Airport which left an unidentified 32-year-old Vancouver man dead.
Tuesday afternoon RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said police believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the crash. The accused’s driving licence has also been suspended for two years by the office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
First reports indicated Tamok was initially rear-ended in his Kia Sport Tec SUV at the Channel Parkway and Highway 97 intersection. He then accelerated away, having minor collisions with several other vehicles within half a kilometre prior to sideswiping the Jimmy.
RCMP reported the Kia was nearing Old Airport Road heading west on Highway 97 when the Olalla man sideswiped the Jimmy — also westbound — causing the driver to lose control. The Jimmy careened into the opposing lane and overturned while airborne. The Jimmy then landed on the front-end of an eastbound Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that was pulling a travel trailer. Police said the driver of the Kia then came into contact with another vehicle before coming to a stop.
The deceased was a passenger in the Jimmy and was pronounced dead at the scene. The two occupants of the Toyota Tacoma were treated for minor injuries and released.
A total of eight motor vehicles and one holiday trailer were involved in the accident, with five vehicle occupants being treated for minor injuries as a result. RCMP officers came into contact with the accused at Penticton Regional Hospital. He was arrested and charged as he left the building and will appear again in court July 20.
“There are a lot of people on our highways right now, some are going to their holiday destination and some returning home,” said Moskaluk. “Please drive while rested, take your time, be courteous to other drivers and drive defensively.”