The RCMP South Okanagan Traffic Services and Penticton Detachment responded to a fatal motor vehicle collision on Highway 97 at the south end of Penticton along Skaha Lake on the afternoon of Sunday, July 2.
A 72 year old Olalla man – identified Monday after his first court appearance as Frank Tamok, remains in custody after being arrested for criminal negligence causing death.
The collision occurred around 1:35 p.m. when a white KIA Sport Tec SUV driven by a Tamok was westbound on Highway 97 nearing Old Airport Rd when it sideswiped a white GMC Jimmy that was also westbound. The driver of the GMC Jimmy lost control causing the GMC Jimmy to careen into the opposing lane and overturn while airborne. The GMC Jimmy landed on the front end of an eastbound white Toyota Tacoma pick up truck that was pulling a travel trailer. The driver of the white KIA Sport Tec then came into contact with another vehicle before coming to a stop. A 32 year old Vancouver man who was a passenger in the GMC Jimmy was pronounced deceased at the scene. The two occupants of the Toyota Tacoma were treated for minor injuries and released.
Investigators learned that the incident began when the then southbound Tamok was rear ended at the Channel Parkway and Highway 97 intersection. He then accelerated away, only to have minor collisions with several other vehicles prior to sideswiping the GMC Jimmy. It was within half a kilometer of the first collision that Tamok sideswiped the GMC Jimmy.
A total of eight motor vehicles and one holiday trailer were involved, with five vehicle occupants being treated for minor injuries as a result. It was at the Penticton Regional Hospital where the officers came into contact with Tamok, who was then arrested for criminal negligence causing death.
Tamok appeared in Penticton Court on Monday and was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He was ordered detained in custody until his next court appearance July 20.
“We are reminding motorists to drive safely.
There are a lot of people on our highways right now, some are going to their holiday destination and some returning home. Please drive while rested, take your time, be courteous to other drivers and drive defensively,” said Corporal Dan Moskaluk.