Witnesses still carry emotional scars from fatal crash

Keremeos man stands trial on multiple charges stemming from fatal crash

Witnesses to a “horrifying” accident in Penticton, alleged to have been caused by a drunk driver, told the court they still are haunted by it.

The accident claimed the life of 32-year-old Bradley Lentz, who was with his wife visiting family on vacation in Penticton. The accused is 72-year-old Keremeos man Frank Tamok, who has been behind bars since being arrested last July.

“I couldn’t get back in a vehicle. I couldn’t sleep for the first week,” said Linda Kenzle, who witnessed the GMC Jimmy carrying Lentz fly through the air and come crashing off their Toyota truck. “I went through a tortuous summer.”

She and her husband, William Kenzle, were driving into Penticton in a Toyota truck pulling a trailer on July 3, 2011, passing by Wright’s Beach Campground on Skaha Lake Road when they were hit. The husband told Judge Wilfred Klinger he heard the sound of metal crunching first.

“The next thing I see is a vehicle rolling through the air at me,” recalled William.

Inside the Jimmy was Lentz and his wife, who was driving. Lentz was killed on impact as their vehicle landed upside down in the right eastbound lane of Skaha Lake Road.

The front end of the Toyota truck that carried the Kenzles was heavily damaged. William was pinned in by the steering wheel but managed to wiggle loose and escape out the passenger door. His wife said she was in extreme pain when she got out of the vehicle and collapsed in a ditch beside the road. Linda said after the accident the pain continued and she could only sleep sitting upright on her couch. The couple both suffer emotional trauma.

Since Tuesday, the court has heard from a number of witnesses about the two accident scenes allegedly caused by Tamok, who was at the wheel of a white Kia. The first being on the Channel Parkway intersection turning westbound onto Skaha Lake Road, where witnesses said they saw a white Kia rear-end and push its way through vehicles before accelerating down the road towards the airport. Jocelyn Gauthier was in the left-hand turning lane on Skaha Lake Road to head north on the Channel Parkway and watched the white Kia hit her fiance’s truck, lifting it off the ground, and then the car behind it before speeding away.

“There were pieces of white car all over the road,” said Gauthier. “I was surprised he could continue to drive because of all the pieces left.”

Tamok’s defence counsel, James Pennington, questioned Donald Nicol, who was rear-ended by the white Kia just after what some called a “dust cloud” occurred at the second accident scene where Lentz was killed. Nicol said he caught the white Kia weaving in and out of traffic in his rearview mirror as he headed westbound on Skaha Lake Road. He also noticed a truck.

“I couldn’t tell if they were chasing each other, or racing each other,” said Nicol, who suspected the cars were driving about 100 km/h.

Next he noticed the white Kia in his peripheral vision heading directly at oncoming traffic in the eastbound lane. It eventually crashed into the rear driver’s side of Nicol’s vehicle.

Dhar Chema was in the truck Nicol had spoke about. Chema testified he saw the first accident at the Channel Parkway intersection occur behind him and reacted by speeding up and honking his horn several times “to tell people to get out of the way” of the swerving white Kia behind him as he headed westbound on Skaha Lake Road. He pulled over after the fatal collision and got out, running back to the scene and instructing approaching cars to slow down.

The trial is scheduled to run until Friday and it is expected Crown counsel Jeff Dyment will be submitting an expert report before closing his case and allowing the defence to call any witnesses.

Tamok is charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, impaired driving causing bodily harm, causing an accident that resulted in a death and failure to stop at the scene of an accident.

 

Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read