Victor Charlie, a member of Merritt Secondary School's class of 2011, died after his truck fell off an embankment on Highway 5A Friday afternoon, two days before his 19th birthday.
Emergency crews were dispatched to a single-vehicle accident at 3:25 p.m. Friday. RCMP Staff Sgt. Doug Aird said a motorist saw skid marks leading off the road about 20 kilometres south of Kamloops.
The crash occurred near Napier Lake. A black Chevrolet pickup truck tumbled down an embankment and rolled over.
Kamloops Fire and Rescue assistant chief Dennis Fayers said a rescue truck was sent with three firefighters trained in rope rescue on board. His crew rappelled down the embankment to the vehicle, where one occupant was found inside.
Aird said the person died from injuries sustained in the crash.
The B.C. Coroners Service acting regional coroner for the Interior, Shannon Bender-Bell, identified the victim as Victor Charlie Monday.
In an interview with the News, Bender-Bell said that the exact details of the death are still under investigation but that his death does not appear to be suspicious.
"There's really no more information I can release until the investigation is complete."
The coroner will decide whether to perform toxicology and other tests as the investigation proceeds.
Hundreds of friends, neighbours, and relatives met and lit candles in Charlie's honour at the Merritt Pro Rodeo Grounds on Sunday night.
The candlelight vigil coincided with what would have been Charlie's 19th birthday.
Charlie graduated from Merritt Secondary School in 2011 and worked at Coopers Foods.
According to a Facebook post from his girlfriend, Sarah Forsberg, Charlie was driving home from Kamloops after picking up feed for his pregnant mare when the accident occurred.
A Facebook page dedicated to his memory was covered with farewell messages and praise.
Charlie's funeral will take place at the rodeo grounds this Friday at 10 a.m.
The crash blocked Highway 5A in both directions until the early evening Friday.
Daryl LeDuke said he offered emergency crews jackets and blankets to keep the driver warm, but was told there was no point.
A Kamloops resident, he's driven Highway 5A almost every day for a month. He said this is the third accident he's seen.
"It's the second horrendous one," he said, referencing a minivan crash at Richie Lake about two weeks ago. "It's a sketchy road. People drive too fast."
(With files from KDN)