Witnesses recount fatal collision

A June 8, 2010 crash took the life of Ethan Baptiste

  • Jun. 17, 2013 11:00 a.m.

A witness to a crash that killed a prominent young leader in the Okanagan Nation testified that she “felt like there was going to be an accident” in the moments leading up to the West Kelowna collision.

On June 8, 2010, Tanya Shaak was the passenger in a car waiting to turn left onto Westlake Road from Highway 97 when she saw the light turn yellow and a black pickup truck start to move from the left turn lane.

“I just felt like there was going to be an accident because I didn’t see the (oncoming) semi slowing down,” she said.

Later, she said: “I thought it (the semi) was far enough away to have slowed down.”

Jade Thomson was also in the left turn lane and remembered thinking “don’t go” when he spotted the pickup start to turn after the light turned yellow.

The semi collided with the pickup, sheering off the pickup’s front end, said Shaak.

After being hit, the black truck slid in the intersection and “smacked” into the driver’s side of Thomson’s Buick.

The semi, meanwhile, went over the bank at the intersection and when Const. Jeremy Ricker arrived, he saw a “large billow of black smoke” coming from the semi in the ditch.

He soon learned a fourth vehicle was involved in the crash. Witnesses who testified at trial did not see another car get hit, but Brent Hartsook testified he later saw a car “get pulled out” from by the semi.

Police said after the crash that the car had been waiting to merge onto Highway 97 when it became pinned under the semi as it went over the bank.

The driver of the car, 33-year-old Ethan Baptiste, was killed.

The alleged driver of the semi, Jeffrey Robert Penz, is now on trial for the Motor Vehicle Act offences of failing to stop for a yellow light and drive without reasonable consideration. The trial is scheduled to run through


By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor

Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Russel Van Dulken turned his love and skills of gaming into a career

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okangan author shorlisted in B.C. historical writing competition

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded together with $2,500 to the author whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia.

Most Read