'It’s surreal and sad:' Kamloops neighbourhood bands together after snowbird plane crashes into home - InfoNews

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'It’s surreal and sad:' Kamloops neighbourhood bands together after snowbird plane crashes into home

Hearts hang in the window of a Kamloops house near the snowbird crash site on Glenview Avenue.
Image Credit: Brie Welton
May 18, 2020 - 10:16 AM

It’s quiet in the morning hours of a Brocklehurst neighbourhood, contrasting yesterday’s events when a snowbird plane crashed into a house, causing the home to catch fire.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds were intending to fly from Kamloops to Comox as part of Operation Inspiration, a cross-Canada tour to boost morale during the COVID-19 pandemic. But during take-off one of the snowbird planes crashed in the Kamloops neighbourhood, killing one snowbird member and seriously injuring another.

Schreiner Street is currently sectioned off from Tranquille Road to Young Street, not far from the crash site on Glenview Avenue, which is also currently blocked off. The Canadian Forces are investigating the cause of the crash, which killed public affairs officer Captain Jennifer Casey and sent pilot Captain Richard MacDougall to the hospital with serious injuries.

READ MORE: Snowbird crash: Video shows two people being ejected from plane before crash in Kamloops neighbourhood

Hearts hang in neighbourhood windows and balloons have been tied to a sign posted at the Glenview Road and Crestline Road intersection. Debris remains scattered around the neighbourhood.

Roads remain blocked off near the snowbird crash site on Glenview Avenue in Kamloops.
Roads remain blocked off near the snowbird crash site on Glenview Avenue in Kamloops.
Image Credit: Brie Welton

“I think we’re all shocked right now, obviously, we’re watching planes go over and some of us think of (planes crashing) all  the time because we’re so close to the airport and then all of a sudden this just happened. It’s big. It’s not some tiny little passenger plane,” said Dorise, who lives on Young Street. She declined to give her last name.

Mitchell Enns, a Brock resident, called it a “strange” and “odd” event, but said it rallied the community together.

“This out in Brock, last September we lost the school, there is this sense of people (coming) together, and we’re a community up here. We’re all up for helping each other out,” he said. Last year, a fire destroyed Parkcrest Elementary School, after classes finished for the day.

Neighbours placed phone calls to emergency services, and supported them by ensuring traffic remained clear on the roads yesterday after the crash, he said. According to witnesses, the couple that was living in the burning house at the time escaped uninjured.

Brock resident Sean Flynn said the crash has left both a “surreal and sad” feeling in the neighbourhood.

“We were golfing and we were watching them fly around… it’s just surreal, you don’t think anything like that is going to happen,” he said. “Yesterday was chaos with so many people around here.” He remained indoors for much of the day.

The scene from yesterday's crash.
The scene from yesterday's crash.
Image Credit: Brie Welton

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian addressed Kamloops residents May 17, in a press conference, saying the crash has “shaken us to our core.”

"I want to talk directly to the citizens of Brocklehurst. This has been a startling and shocking incident and it comes on the heels of yesterday. Yesterday was inspirational in Kamloops because Operation Inspiration in Kamloops (was held) and they were widely received and welcomed," he said during the press conference.

A memorial will be held this afternoon, May 18, for Casey and the snowbirds, as "many of us were in awe about the Snowbirds being in town, boosting our morale during this challenging time,” said organizer Patricia Noelle, in a Facebook post. It starts at 1 p.m. on Airport Road.


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