Tributes pouring in for Naramata accident victim

Penticton RCMP still investigating incident that saw woman fall to her death from the bed of a pickup truck

A roadside memorial to Kyra Holt

A roadside memorial to Kyra Holt

Tributes are piling up for a woman who died last weekend following a motor vehicle mishap in Naramata.

Penticton resident Kyra Holt was killed around 9 p.m. Friday when she tumbled out of the box of a pickup truck onto Robinson Avenue across from Naramata Elementary School.

The 39-year-old was born in Smithers, attended school in Terrace, and in 1994 moved to Penticton, where she spent the past five years working as a hospital clerk, according to her obituary. She left behind an adult son.

Penticton Regional Hospital administrator Lori Motluk said in a statement that Holt’s colleagues were “extremely saddened” to learn of her death.

“Kyra was a valued unit clerk at PRH and will be missed beyond words. Our thoughts and sympathies are first and foremost with her family in this difficult time. Our thoughts are also with our staff, who worked alongside Kyra and were touched by her amazing spirit,” Motluk said. “Our focus right now is on supporting them as they grieve her loss.”

Friends described Holt as gregarious and well-liked.

“She absolutely completed everybody,” said Subrina Monteith, who started a Facebook page in memory of Holt. The page had 300 members as of Tuesday morning.

Monteith said the two met when Holt worked as a waitress at a Penticton pool hall about 12 years ago. She said Holt was “a ray of sun,” and “absolutely the most beautiful person, inside and out.”

Penticton RCMP said in a weekend statement that Holt and another woman were riding in the back of the truck driven by a 28-year-old man when Holt “apparently lost her balance and fell to the asphalt… suffering fatal head injuries.”

Monteith said her friend wasn’t known as a risk-taker.

“I think it was a freak thing, for sure. I mean, she lived life to the fullest, but she wasn’t a daredevil,” said Monteith.

Another pal, Terri Lamb, said she’d heard Holt had been walking dogs with a friend on the KVR Trail before catching the ill-fated ride into Naramata.

“Holt “was the most amazing person you’d ever meet,” Lamb said. “A friends-with-everybody type of person.”

Naramata Fire Chief Will McCutcheon said his team was called out Friday to a report of “a possible cardiac arrest. Two members of his department went straight to the scene at Robinson Avenue to render assistance, but were unable to revive Holt.

“It just couldn’t have been any quicker,” McCutcheon said of his crew’s response.

Penticton RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said Tuesday the police investigation is still ongoing. He said as is the case with any motor vehicle-related fatality, police will send a report to Crown counsel for a decision on charges.

“It’s not unusual for it to take a couple of months to get it straightened out,” Dellebuur said.

A celebration of Holt’s life is planned for Friday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Penticton. In lieu of flowers, her family is requesting donations be made to the SPCA to honour her love of of dogs.