KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man accused of leaving the scene of an accident that left 16-year-old Jennifer Gatey dead is expected to seek bail this week.
Jason Charles Gourlay, 40, is also charged with one count of possessing heroin and fentanyl, according to court documents.
He was scheduled for a bail hearing in Kamloops Provincial Court today, March 7, but defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen says it has been adjourned to Thursday. It's not yet known if the bail hearing will get underway that day.
According to court documents, Gourlay is charged with failing to stop at the scene of the accident. The information on the charge alleges he had control of a vehicle that was involved in an accident with another person, resulting in death.
The information alleges Gourlay understood bodily harm was caused to that person and was reckless as to whether that harm caused death. It also alleges Gourlay, with intent to escape civil or criminal liability, failed to stop his vehicle and offer assistance.
The incident occurred Nov. 4, 2016 near Gatey's Aberdeen home, hours before her 17th birthday. Gourlay's Jeep was seized by Kamloops RCMP days after the incident to undergo forensic investigation after a tip from the public.
Months went by in the investigation without answers, but Kamloops RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller announced in a news conference yesterday that Gourlay had been arrested and charged in connection to the hit and run.
Mueller said Gourlay's name came up early in the investigation and said he was willing to accept criticism for how long the investigation took.
"Investigations involve careful consideration, examination of vital information, inspection, analysis, research and scrutiny," Mueller said. "We must ensure that this information is accurate and protected to safeguard the integrity of the investigation."
If convicted, the maximum penalty for a charge of failing to stop at the scene of an accident when death is involved is life in prison.
Gourlay is expected to appear in Kamloops Provincial Court later this month for an unrelated theft charge.
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