The family of a Terrace man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident nearly a year ago made a third public appeal on Friday for more information to help solve his death.
Cameron Kerr, 30, was struck and killed by a vehicle in the early morning hours of November 18 last year while walking east on Highway 16 toward Terrace from New Remo.
“The last couple of weeks our family has been trying to find new words, to once again appeal to those who know who killed Cameron to come forward with what they know,” said Cameron’s brother, Garrett Kerr, during an RCMP news conference at City Hall in Terrace.
“It’s been the worst tragedy we can imagine and not a day goes by that we don’t think about him, or miss his smile and his laugh. What is even more difficult for us is trying to understand why it is that those responsible for his death are still walking free, still home with their families.”
The Kerr family made two public appeals last year pleading for the driver and witnesses to come forward.
Investigators were led to Haida Gwaii a few days after Cameron’s body was discovered, following tips from the public. They questioned seven people and seized two pickup trucks, two boats and three boat trailers.
Investigators also identified a primary suspect from the Lower Mainland but did not have enough evidence to pursue charges. The family believes people are out there holding back information.
“Perhaps you believe these are good people that just made a mistake. Maybe you can imagine getting distracted momentarily while adjusting your radio, or drifting out of your lane while driving long distances late at night,” Garrett said. “The truth is, we as a family are confident they knew what they had done.”
After the impact, the driver, his passengers and others spent several hours that night getting rid of and replacing their damaged boat trailer by dumping it over a bank into the forest, Garrett said.
Police wouldn’t confirm or deny that the boat trailer had been discovered when questioned by reporters.
Cameron was struck by an oncoming pickup truck at high speed sometime between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. His body was found in the ditch by a member of the public around noon the same day.
“Instead of stopping to help, they knowingly carried on and did everything they could to cover it up. A year later, they are still the type of people that refuse to cooperate with the investigation, refuse to come forward and admit what they’ve done,” said Garrett, angry that Cameron will never get to meet his nephew, born on November 11 this year.
RCMP West Pacific Region Traffic Services officer Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin said investigators still believe a number of witnesses are withholding information and that the witnesses and suspects are from the Lower Mainland.
“You know who you are. We encourage you to come forward with your information and take responsibility for your actions – Cameron Kerr deserves as much. Ask yourself if you would want justice done if it was your friend or family member killed in similar circumstances,” said McLaughlin.
Cameron was well known in paddling and other outdoor recreation communities throughout the Northwest. A former member of the Terrace River Kings hockey team and a tradesman by profession, he is remembered as kind and generous.
Along Highway 16, in the ditch where his body was found, his hockey stick now stands with his cap on top. A few metres away his family has attached a memorial plaque on a tree – antlers to represent his love for hunting, his fishing rod and kayaking oars from his time on the river.
A private memorial service will be held at the site on Monday, the anniversary of his death.
Police are asking anyone with information and who has not already spoken with police to call Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin with West Pacific Region Traffic Services at 250-638-7438. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).