It’s been almost one month since three Thompson Rivers University (TRU) international students were killed and another injured in a hit and run in Kamloops, and as the three young men are remembered, their friends are hoping justice will prevail.
On Weds. Nov. 27 more than 100 people gathered inside the Oasis Church in Kamloops to celebrate the lives of Feyisola (David) Adebowale, Daniel Okocha and Oluwatosin (Kelvin) Adeojo.
“They were all nice, funny, vibrant young individuals that had so many goals,” said one speaker.
Many attending the memorial service organized by TRU and the church are still struggling to understand why the three men who came to Canada from Nigeria to further their studies were taken so suddenly and tragically.
“Everything happens for a reason but I don’t know why this happened,” said friend Peter Dara.
“I can’t, I don’t know why, I can’t figure it out.”
Early on Nov. 3, Adebowale, Okocha, Adeojo and a fourth man were in a car travelling along 1st Avenue when their vehicle was struck by a blue Ford pickup truck that RCMP allege was speeding before its driver blew a stop sign at the Battle Street intersection.
Adebowale and Okocha died at the scene while Adeojo suffered life-threatening injuries and died in hospital on Nov. 12. Another friend suffered minor injuries and has since been released from hospital.
“I’m still in shock,” said friend Samuel Abiodun. “No one really saw that happening.”
“It was pretty devastating,” added friend Eunice Aniogbe.
The driver of the suspect truck, which had Alberta licence plates, is accused of running from the scene. Police confirmed the vehicle’s male registered owner was arrested hours later.
“I was hurt,” friend Awele Juwe told Global News. “I was angry and I was just confused.”
After the fatal hit-and-run, police officers attended a duplex in the Guerin Creek area, about two kilometres and an approximately three-minute drive from the collision scene.
“The morning after the incident they got their warrants and went in and searched the premises,” said neighbour Madison Park.
Kamloops RCMP told Global News their presence at the home was linked to the deadly hit-and-run investigation.
Neighbours say the duplex’s downstairs tenant used to park a blue Ford pickup in the driveway.
“It was kind of surreal that, like, everything was kind of going down just next door,” said Ainsley Grether.
Park and other neighbours observed forensic investigators going in and out of the home with a canine team over a period of days.
“I just thought it was weird that they had a dog and they were like here non-stop for four nights,” said Chaylene Crerar.
Although the alleged driver has been identified, no charges have been laid as the Kamloops RCMP Serious Crimes Unit continues to investigate.
Adebowale, Okocha and Adeojo attended the Redeem Christian Church of God and worked together at the Coast Sundance Lodge at Sun Peaks.
The trio is being remembered by close friends as pleasant, funny, amazing and very generous.
“Feyi (Adebowale) is so selfless he would put literally anybody before himself, that’s just the type of human being he is,” said Juwe.
“He (Adebowale) was always smiling and always full of life. He was a lovely person, one of the best people I’ve met in my life,” added friend Tomi Oyeleke.
“So sad to lose somebody so good.”
Friends say Adeojo loved photography and was a member of the TRU Fashion Club.
“All Kelvin wanted for everybody around us was first, one day sit down at a great table and drink the best of drinks, be with the best of people, and be happy,” said Dara.
“They’re all really great guys, really friendly and very funny. Honestly, the only way I try to comfort myself is to try and remember all the jokes we shared,” added Abiodun.
Another male friend who spoke at the memorial service said it’s been hard to continue living in Kamloops since the trio died.
“Everywhere I go, anything I look at reminds me of those three friends and it’s really, really, really painful,” he said.
Meantime, Oyeleke says he doesn’t believe what happened was intentional and hopes the driver involved is able to forgive themselves.
“I feel, no matter how angry I am towards the driver, it can’t bring back my friends, so the best is just to move on, forgive,” he said.
Other friends find it hard to be so compassionate.
“I have so much anger that I don’t think it can be put into words,” Aniogbe told Global News.
“Justice needs to be served that’s for sure.”
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.