A Canadian Armed Forces soldier has been separated from his Kamloops reserve unit since late September, when he was criminally charged in a triple fatal hit-and-run in the city last year.
Reid McKnight, 31, was arrested on Sept. 25 and charged with one count of failing to stop at an accident resulting in death, and three counts of dangerous driving causing death in connection with the Nov. 2019 collision that killed three international students and alumni from Thompson Rivers University and injured a fourth.
Since 2017, McKnight has been a member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, a unit of reserve infantry soldiers within 39 Canadian Brigade Group.
When he joined the CAF as a soldier in 2007, McKnight served with the 1st Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, a combat unit equipped with light armoured vehicles.
McKnight was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2009 to May 2010, said Capt. Jeff Manney, a public affairs officer with 39 Canadian Brigade Group.
Manney confirmed McKnight’s work status was subject to an administrative review after the charges were laid, and that he is still getting paid but not coming into work due to the “seriousness of the charges.”
Early on Nov. 3, 2019, Feyisola (David) Adebowale, Daniel Okocha, Oluwatosin (Kelvin) Adeojo and a fourth man were driving home along 1st Avenue in Kamloops when their red Dodge Charger was struck by a blue Ford Ranger.
RCMP allege the Ranger was speeding before its driver blew a stop sign at the Battle Street intersection.
Adebowale and Okocha died at the scene while Adeojo suffered life-threatening injuries and died in hospital on Nov. 12. The fourth friend suffered minor injuries.
McKnight, who police say is the registered owner of the pick up truck with Alberta licence plates, is accused of running from the scene without calling 911.
Police said the four young victims were using a designated driver to get home safely after an evening out.
“At the time of the collision, these men were doing exactly what they should have been doing and in no way contributed to the collision,” said Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay with Kamloops RCMP.
Hours after the deadly hit-and-run, McKnight was arrested at his home in Kamloops’ Guerin Creek area and later released as the investigation continued.
RCMP executed a search warrant at McKnight’s duplex on Nov. 4, 2019, allegedly seizing evidence and firearms unrelated to the fatal hit-and-run.
Police said several technical investigative processes were used to forensically examine the deadly collision scene, and seize biological and digital evidence in order to secure charges against McKnight.
The army reservist has also been charged with careless use or storage of a firearm and storage of firearm contrary to regulation in connection with the search on his home.
McKnight was released on $500 bail on Sept. 26 and must abide by six release conditions including not consuming alcohol or drugs without a prescription, not possessing any weapons and not occupying the driver’s seat of any motor vehicle.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 22.