Fallen Snowbird remembered in Kamloops on anniversary of plane crash | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fallen Snowbird remembered in Kamloops on anniversary of plane crash

Captain Jennifer Casey's friend Dan McDonald (left) and former partner Capt. Scott Boyd (right) in Kamloops on the anniversary of the crash, May 17, 2021.
May 17, 2021 - 12:50 PM

On the one year anniversary of the tragic Snowbird crash in Kamloops that shocked both the community and the nation, two of Capt. Jennifer Casey’s friends and her former partner visited the city.

On May 17, 2020, Capt. Casey was killed in a plane crash in Brocklehurst during the Snowbirds’ cross-country Operation INSPIRATION, and the City of Kamloops plans to memorialize her with a park near Fulton Field.

Her friends Dan McDonald and Morgan Muse are grateful for the people of Kamloops and their show of support over the last year.

READ MORE: ONE YEAR LATER: Memories of Snowbird crash fresh in minds of Kamloops residents

“Kamloops will always be special to us and always be with a mix of emotions every time we’re here,” McDonald said at a press briefing to update progress on the forthcoming memorial.

“It’s a very bizarre thing to go through so publicly, but there’s been no negative comments. Everyone has been so generous and positive, and that’s really the only way to remember her."

Casey died when she and a pilot ejected from a Snowbirds tutor at low elevation after a bird struck the engine, causing the plane to crash. 

Capt. Scott Boyd, Capt. Casey’s former partner, said the operation started after the Nova Scotia shooting in 2020 as a way to boost morale, along with a response to the ongoing pandemic.

“It wasn’t until we started doing the flights across the country and started seeing the support come in that we really understood the impact of what we were doing,” Capt. Boyd said. “And at that point (Capt. Casey) made it her mission to make it the most successful thing.”

The final rendition of the park and memorial isn’t ready yet, but city officials are working with local artists to create a tribute to Capt. Casey and the Snowbirds.

The park, which will be located where Tranquille Road meets Fulton Field, will also feature curated story boards describing the history of the area and the city’s connection to the Canadian military. There will be flower beds, pathways and benches.

Mayor Ken Christian said construction is scheduled to start in 2023 after Transmountain pipeline construction has moved through and Tranquille corridor construction is completed.

Costs for construction may vary over time, but it’s estimated to be in the area of $500,000.

“This was a tragedy that rocked our community to the core and an event that will remain a part of Kamloops history,” Mayor Christian said in a news release. “The park will be a place of observation, remembrance and honour for the history of the Canadian military and the Snowbirds within our community.”

An artist rendering of the Captain Jennifer Casey Memorial.
An artist rendering of the Captain Jennifer Casey Memorial.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kamloops

Read more of our Canadian Forces Snowbirds stories here.


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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