A horrific car crash in Kamloops has forever changed the lives of two young men from Kelowna and shattered the Thompson River University men’s volleyball team.
Wolfpack athletes Owen Waterhouse and Riley Brinnen were riding in a Volkswagen with teammate Owyn McInnis last Wednesday (Nov. 29), when they were struck from behind while stopped at a red light. Kamloops RCMP say a truck hit several small trees before striking the Volkswagen and causing secondary crashes with four other vehicles.
Waterhouse was taken to Royal Inland Hospital, where he remains in a medically induced coma. Brinnen was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital with a spinal injury, while McInnis died as a result of the crash.
In a GoFundMe for Waterhouse, the young athlete is described as kind and selfless. The Kelowna Secondary School graduate is a former volunteer with the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association and plays as an outside hitter for TRU men’s volleyball. Waterhouse suffered a severe brain injury in the crash and is receiving care in the ICU in Kamloops.
Brinnen wears jersey 19 for the Wolfpack and is at TRU studying psychology. The young man graduated from Kelowna Secondary School in 2020 before becoming a member of the Wolfpack. Brinnen had surgery for his spinal injury the morning after the collision and is continuing to receive care in Vancouver. A fundraiser has also been set up for Brinnen.
McInnis was identified by his mom, Erin Walter, on social media as the athlete that died in the incident. She said McInnis loved food, hiking and his girlfriend Amber. Walter stated in the post that there will be a criminal investigation regarding the multi-vehicle crash. A scholarship fund has been set up by TRU in McInnis’ name, thanks to a $20,000-donation from two anonymous donors. There is also a GoFundMe to support the McInnis family.
Kamloops RCMP’s Municipal Traffic Unit has taken conduct of the investigation with support from the Southeast District Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service. Anyone with video or dash camera footage of the crash, or any information related to the incident, is asked to contact police with file number 2023-42279.