Man who crashed into Kelowna homeless encampment pleads guilty

Guilty plea in tent city crash

The man accused of being behind the wheel of a truck that ran over and seriously injured a person sleeping in a tent at Kelowna’s Rail Trail homeless encampment in 2022 has pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Tyler Grant Manchur, born in 1992, appeared in court in Kelowna on Monday to make his plea.

The case was adjourned to April 25 pending a pre-sentencing report and psychiatric evaluation.

The court was told the RCMP were called just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2022, after a black Dodge 1500 pickup truck, drove north on Ethel Street, did not negotiate a left turn and plowed into what is known locally as “Tent City,” running over a tent and dragging it and its occupant 95 metres before coming to a stop. The encampment is city-sanctioned.

The man in the tent was found trapped under a wheel of the truck and suffered what Crown counsel Miho Ogi-Harris described as serious “life-changing” injuries. He underwent several surgerys as a result, she said. The man has since died of unrelated causes.

Manchur was apprehended at the scene by people from the encampment and held until police arrived.

He was taken into custody and, at the Kelowna RCMP detachment, given a breathalyzer test in which his blood alcohol level was recorded at 150 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, well over the legal level of impairment.

Two days after the crash, Manchur called Castanet News and claimed he had “zero memory” of a large chunk of the night in question and said he believed he was drugged.

"I did blow over on the blow box, but not nearly enough to do the damage that was caused," he said, explaining he was speaking to the media because he wanted the community to know "I'm not a dangerous person."

Denying he had any hatred of homeless people, he claimed he was out for two hours that night and visited two locations, Social and the Liquid Zoo. He believed he was drugged at some point before the incident.

"I was downtown between Social and Liquid Zoo and I don't remember anything after leaving the bar. I have zero memory of anything. So I'm convinced I was drugged," said Manchur.

He added he had no explanation as to why he was so impaired and maintained he had no memory of the incident or the events that led up to it.

Monday's guilty plea negates the need for a trial. Manchur is currently out on bail.

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