An “artist tribute memorial” will be created in honour of Capt. Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds public information officer killed in the crash of a Tudor jet at Kamloops Airport one year ago today (May 17, 2021).
The memorial will be located at an observation point still to be designed and constructed where Tranquille Road curves in front of the airport. It will be called Fulton Field Park. It will also include flower beds, pathways and bench seating.
The idea, rather than renaming Airport Road in Casey’s honour as many residents had hoped, was first broached shortly after the tragedy by Mayor Ken Christian, who confirmed the decision in today’s announcement.
“Curated boards” describing the history of Fulton Field and Kamloops’ connection to the Canadian military will also be installed, with construction planned for 2023 in conjunction with a beautification and road project along Tranquille Road.
“The park will be a place of observation, remembrance, and honour for the history of the Canadian military and the Snowbirds within our community,” Christian stated today.
Capt. Scott Boyd, Casey’s partner, thanked the City for the gesture, saying “It is hard to believe that it has already been one year since the tragic accident that claimed the life of my partner and best friend Jenn.
“The kindness, compassion and support shown by the community of Brocklehurst, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Shuswap Nation and the Rocky Mountain Rangers on that day and over the past year has been absolutely incredible.”
Lt.-Col. Denis Bandet, commanding officer of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, added, “We are honoured to see this park dedicated to the team and to now be an integral part of Kamloops culture.”
Casey died after she and pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall ejected from their aircraft when a bird was sucked into its engine, causing a compressor to stall and the engine to lose power.