The family of a Terrace man who was killed in a hit-and-run crash almost exactly 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 Nov. 18, 2018 while walking east on Highway 16 toward Terrace from New Remo.
“These past 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,” says brother Garrett Kerr in a news conference at City Hall in Terrace, alongside the RCMP.
“It’s been the worst tragedy we can imagine and not a day goes by that we don’t think about him, or we don’t 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 was found dead, following tips from the public. They questioned seven people and seized two pickup trucks, two boats and three boat trailers.
They 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 says.
“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 says. Police did not confirmed but also did not dispute them 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. And one 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,” Garrett says.
Cameron’s nephew was just born, on Nov.11, he adds, whom he will now never meet.
Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin, from RCMP’s West Pacific Region Traffic Services, says police 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,” McLaughlin says.
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 out, his family has put up a memorial on a tree, with antlers to represent his love for hunting, his fishing rod, and kayaking oars for 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).