RCMP investigate possible suspect vehicle in fatal hit and run of Kamloops teenager

By Tanya Cronin
November 7, 2016 - 4:59pm Updated: November 7, 2016 - 9:09pm

KAMLOOPS — It's an update to a story that has left Kamloops residents in shock and disbelief. 

The tragic and sudden death of a Kamloops teen has sent shockwaves through the entire community. Friday evening, 16-year old Jennifer Gatey was struck and killed by a vehicle on Pacific Way, the victim of a hit and run. 

Gatey was pronounced dead at the scene, and from there the search for the vehicle involved began. 

Today, Kamloops RCMP cordoned off a home in Dufferin, and confirm they are investigating a possible suspect vehicle.

Flowers, candles, and pictures of a teenager described as smart and fun-loving. A growing memorial on Pacific Way in Aberdeen marks the spot where 16-year old Jennifer Gatey died.

"I can't imagine a life growing old without my daughter, she was a wonderful wonderful kid I loved her dearly, I still love her dearly," says Cameron Gatey, Jennifer's Father.    

Shortly before 6:45pm Friday evening, Jennifer was struck and killed by a vehicle on Pacific Way near Abbeyglen Way. The driver did not stop at the scene of the crash, which happened just 100-feet from the Gatey family home.     

"She had come home from school grabbed her stuff to go back to the gym and came out the back door right over there, and went out our back gate. We didn't think anything of it until about an hour later, the police came and knocked on our door and told us that our daughter had been struck by a car and had been killed."

Over the weekend, RCMP released surveillance video of a potential suspect vehicle. Today (Monday) police confirm they are investigating a dark-blue two-door jeep, sitting in the driveway of a Dufferin home. But there has been no indication whether this is the same vehicle involved in the fatal hit and run.

"Right now we've secured this vehicle and we'll be investigating it with our investigation section and looking at it. But as with all of our tips we have to follow through and at this time we have nothing linking us to the hit and run, we have to wait for the identification section to come and investigate it," says Cpl. Jodi Shelkie, Kamloops RCMP.  
Police tape surrounds the home in the 1300 block of Sunshine Court, a blue tarp covering the front end. But no arrests have been made. Friday night the roads were bare and dry, and while it's still not clear what happened, the investigation is a top priority for RCMP.

"It's always horrific to go to a scene where somebody has died, but when it's a youth it's especially traumatic, and in this situation, it's really sad," says Cpl. Shelkie. 

Jennifer Gatey was killed on the eve of her 17th birthday. Friends and family held a candlelight vigil Saturday to celebrate the SouthKam student. Now, a roadside tribute is all that's left to remember a young life taken too soon.   
"I can't believe she's gone, she was smart, she was intelligent, she was athletic, she was fun-loving, and I just can't imagine the rest of my life without her, I really can't," says Gatey.

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