To honour fallen Snowbird captain, Kamloops resident wants to change street name - InfoNews

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To honour fallen Snowbird captain, Kamloops resident wants to change street name

Capt. Jenn Casey is seen in this undated handout photo from the Royal Canadian Air Force Twitter page. One member of the Canadian Armed Forces has died and another is injured after a Snowbird plane crashed in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday while on a cross-country tour meant to impart hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces, died in the incident, the Department of National Defence said Sunday night.
May 19, 2020 - 7:59 AM

A petition urging the City of Kamloops to rename the road leading to the city’s airport has gained significant traction in just one day.

“To honor and remember Capt. Casey we would like to change the name of Airport road to Capt. J. Casey memorial way,” an area resident identified only as G Briglio said in a petition that’s collected 6,151 signatures to date.

Capt. Jennifer Casey was the public affairs officer for the RCAF Snowbirds who died on Sunday, May 17.

The Snowbirds had flown into Kamloops on Saturday and performed some flypasts for residents as part of Operation Inspiration, a cross-country tour by the Snowbirds meant to raise the spirits of Canadians living under the COVID-19 pandemic.

At approximately 11:45 a.m. on May 17, 2020, shortly after take-off from Kamloops Airport, Snowbird 11, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor she was in, crashed into a nearby neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Snowbird coverage

Prior to the crash, the two-person crew of the aircraft ejected. Capt. Casey did not survive and the aircraft’s pilot, Captain Rich MacDougall survived with non-life threatening injuries.

“The team is devastated by the loss of Jenn. She was the quintessential Public Affairs Officer. A tireless and energetic officer with a network of media contacts from her previous media career and savvy with social media which endeared her to the public. She absolutely loved what she did; she was one of the main reasons Op INSPIRATION has been so well received by the public. She had just received a 1 Canadian Air Division Commander’s coin in recognition of her stellar efforts and a nomination was being drafted for a Chief of the Defence Staff commendation,” Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron Commanding Officer, said in a statement.

“Her loss is a serious blow to not only our team, but to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole. I’ve spoken with Jenn’s family, and passed on our sincere and heartfelt condolences. No words can ease the pain they are feeling right now, I have passed on that they are not grieving alone.”

At this time the precise circumstances leading up to the crash are not known.

The crash site has been secured by local law enforcement and the immediate Flight Safety response is being coordinated on the ground by the team’s Flight Safety Officer. 

An investigation team from the Directorate of Flight Safety in Ottawa has already arrived in Kamloops to conduct a flight safety investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

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