Paul Knight, 64, was vacationing in South Okanagan from the UK when he was killed in a head-on collision in Oliver in July 2018. His wife was severely injured. A trial of the man accused of causing the crash is underway. (Submitted)

Paul Knight, 64, was vacationing in South Okanagan from the UK when he was killed in a head-on collision in Oliver in July 2018. His wife was severely injured. A trial of the man accused of causing the crash is underway. (Submitted)

Trial underway into fatal crash in Oliver that killed a UK dentist

Daerio Romeo is charged in connection to the Highway 97 head-on

In the summer of 2018, Paul Knight and his wife Michelle were vacationing in the South Okanagan from the UK when they were involved in a head-on crash in Oliver.

The couple had been exploring South Okanagan on a Harley Davidson when, on July 14, a Toyota Corolla crossed the centre line on Highway 97. It sideswiped another vehicle before colliding with the Knights head on. The crash took Paul’s life and severely injured his wife.

Nearly three years later, the trial of Daerio John Romeo began Tuesday in Penticton Supreme Court.

Romeo is charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

At the time of the crash, RCMP told the Western News that the three-vehicle incident near Road 18 happened around 2:45 p.m.

The driver of the motorcycle, Paul Knight, died on the way to hospital, while the passenger, Michelle, was in critical condition at the time. In court, Crown said the pair were ejected from the bike. Michelle suffered a fractured vertebrae, pelvis and femur.

According to a UK newspaper, Paul, 64, was a popular dentist, a father of three children and grandfather to two.

Romeo was trapped in his Toyota Corolla and had to be cut out by the Jaws of Life, the court heard on Tuesday.

The charges against Romeo weren’t filed until May 2019.

Crown counsel outlined its case to the courts, explaining that on July 14, 2018, Romeo was seen driving erratically by several witnesses between Keremeos and Oliver before his vehicle crossed the centre line on Highway 97 into the path of a motorcycle.

On Tuesday, a Keremeos RCMP officer who interacted with Romeo 45 minutes prior to the crash testified. Crown will also call a witness who videotaped Romeo’s erratic driving on Highway 3, before the crash took place. She called 911 about the driving behaviour as well.

That was when Romeo is alleged to have been driving his Toyota Corolla on Highway 3 towards Oliver.

Less than 40 minutes later, the driver of a pickup driving southbound on Highway 97 from Oliver saw the Corolla cross the centre line, coming straight for him, said Crown.

The Corolla side-swiped his truck and hit the bike. The truck driver is expected to testify that the Knights were right behind him on their motorcycle. The pickup truck managed to swerve mostly out of the way.

A collision reconstructionist is also expected to testify that Romeo’s operation of his vehicle caused death and bodily harm, said Crown.

Romeo is not a stranger to the courts.

Following this crash in 2018, he has faced several new charges including theft under $5,000 in various communities, including Abbotsford and Vancouver.

The trial continues.

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read