UPDATE: 3 years prison for driver who killed 3 international students in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: 3 years prison for driver who killed 3 international students in Kamloops

A Kamloops man who killed three international students in a T-bone collision pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in Supreme Court today.

Reid McKnight, 33, pleaded guilty today, Dec. 3, to criminal charges after he sped and collided with another vehicle, causing the death of the three Nigerian students.

The Nov. 3, 2019 collision resulted in the deaths of Feyisola Adebowale, Daniel Okocha and Kelvin Oluwatosin, who were all international students attending Thompson Rivers University.

McKnight was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

Two years are for the charge of dangerous driving causing death, while the third year, served consecutively, is for his failure to remain on the scene of an accident where a death occurred.

Justice Kathleen Ker agreed to a joint submission, presented by both defence and prosecution, suggesting the prison sentence. Ker added that while some members of the public may believe she should override the submission to potentially impose a longer sentence, the bar for overriding a joint submission is high and it is rare for a judge to do so.

Along with his prison sentence, McKnight will be banned from owning a firearm for 10 years, while banned from prohibited and restricted weapons for life. He will also have a three-year driving ban once he is released from prison.

While collecting evidence, investigators found that McKnight was speeding in other areas around the city in the time leading up to the collision.

Through GPS and computer data on his 2019 Ford Ranger, they found that five seconds before the collision, McKnight sped up to 110 km/h on Battle Street and T-boned the 2008 Dodge Charger carrying four men.

The Dodge Charger was found to be travelling at 50 km/h on First Avenue.

Both streets have a 50 km/h speed limit.

Following the early morning collision at First Avenue and Battle Street, McKnight fled the scene on foot, while nearby residents who heard the crash attended the scene.

The Ford Ranger had front end damage, while the Dodge Charger had "catastrophic" damage after smashing into a B.C. Hydro pole.

The three victims who died in the hit and run had severe head trauma, with one ejected from the rear window.

The fourth person in the vehicle was treated for his injuries and survived.

McKnight's two charges are driving recklessly causing death and fleeing the scene of an accident where there was a death.

Both charges carry a maximum of life in prison, however, case law shows a range of 18 months to six years, according to submissions by Ballison.

Family members of the victims attended the sentencing hearing virtually as they are away from Kamloops, some in Nigeria.

Aside from criminal charges, some of the victims's families have sued McKnight in civil court, pursuing damages for the deaths of their family members and costs.

McKnight has served with the Canadian Military since he was 18. He continued to serve until his guilty plea, and is expected to be discharged from military service afterward.

— This story was updated at 12:25 p.m., Dec. 3, with new sentencing information.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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