EDITORIAL – Deaths of students in car wreck are a loss to entire community

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S TRAGIC WHEN ANYONE DIES in an accident but it’s especially sad when a visitor from another country is killed here.

I’m talking, of course, about the two TRU international students killed in that horrible wreck at First Avenue and Battle Street. We all hope for a fast recovery by the other two who were injured.

People who come here to study or work do so with the belief that Canada is a good, safe place. Imagine the shock and pain of parents thousands of miles away learning their child has been killed, and having to make the long, heart-breaking trip here to deal with the aftermath.

We feel the pain and sorrow deeply on their behalf, and feel a little responsible because it happened in our country.

TRU president Brett Fairbairn issued a statement after the crash that, out of respect for the privacy of the families, the university will not disclose personal information about those involved in the accident.

The desire for privacy is understandable and we must honour it but, in one sense, it’s unfortunate.

Sadly, it leaves the victims largely anonymous to everyone but those closest to them. They’re human beings, individuals who, without doubt, had hopes and aspirations for the future. They were taken from us — all of us — senselessly. We feel a need to know them in order to properly express our condolences.

One more thought…. At this point, there are many unanswered questions about the accident. It’s safe to say, though, that it was entirely avoidable.

Every time we run a red light, ignore a stop sign, speed, drive distracted or impaired, we risk taking someone else’s life away, or our own, in a split second.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8054 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Deaths of students in car wreck are a loss to entire community

  1. Any loss of life in this manner is tragic, more so when the victims are so young. Two of the students victims were found outside the vehicle. One student had minor injuries. Can’t help but wonder if those who lost their lives were wearing seat belts.

  2. Hopefully council does the right thing and instructs staff to install a traffic camera on First Avenue. We have the money for sure.

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