Brother of Kamloops car crash victim launches GoFundMe for funeral costs

The family of Daniel Okocha — one of four TRU international students involved in a deadly crash in Kamloops — is looking to raise $20,000 for their son's funeral.

Daniel's brother, David, launched a GoFundMe campaign yesterday.

Police were called to Battle Street and First Avenue at 1:40 a.m. on Nov. 3, following a report of a collision between a blue pickup truck and a red sedan. 

When Mounties arrived on scene, two individuals were declared deceased — Daniel and his friend, Feyisola (David) Adebowale.

Two others in the vehicle were taken to hospital, one in life-threatening condition and the other with non-life threatening injuries. The man in life-threatening condition later succumbed to injuries, police announced on Nov. 13

The driver of the pickup fled the scene on foot before the cops showed up. Mounties caught up with the owner of the pickup later in the day and arrested him; he was released hours later with no charges.

On Nov. 7, police announced they had identified the alleged driver of the pickup and were still looking for witnesses; specifically, a woman who was at the scene before emergency crews arrived. RCMP determined the pickup was speeding and blew through a stop sign at the time of the crash.

"All of these lengthy processes must be completed before we can review our evidence or consider recommending charges," wrote Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay in a news release.

Daniel was born in the Delta State in southwest Nigeria, and came to Kamloops last year to further his education. Before his death, he was working toward his bachelor's degree in business and commerce. 

"He wanted to be a chief financial officer of a big firm in Canada," David tells KamloopsMatters during a phone interview, from his home in Virginia.

Daniel, the second child of four siblings, also had dreams of going back to Nigeria one day, and running for office.

"Nigeria is not really a good place for young folks because there are not a lot of young people in Nigeria that are into politics for the welfare of the youth, so he wanted to make a difference," says David. 

The 22-year-old was a "kind, gentle soul," he adds. 

"He was a very kind-hearted person full of life. ... He was the most loved in our family by all the siblings because he was up to date with everything that was going on in the world. I'd get my news from Daniel."

On the day of the accident, David had just got back from church. Daniel's girlfriend had texted David to ask if he had heard from his brother.

"I said, 'No.' It wasn't too long (after) my dad called me and said, 'I hear (Daniel) was in the hospital, that he had an accident. I said, 'OK, let me try to find out information.'"

Daniel loved to drive, so David initially thought his brother was behind the wheel of the sedan.

"When I heard the driver was dead, I told my dad that my brother was dead and we all broke out in tears. Just for me to find out, he was sitting behind the driver. It was a big shock," says David, adding both of his parents are in Nigeria.

David will be coming to Kamloops this month for his brother's funeral. His parents, however, will remain in Nigeria.

"Because of a tradition we have in my family... the parents aren't meant to see the corpse of the deceased child, so we are burying him in Canada. I will be the only one from my family in Canada handling this."

To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.

Fundraising campaigns have also been launched for Adebowale and the third victim, identified as Oluwatosin Adeojo (Kelvin). You can find them here and here.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Nov. 15 to include links to the two other fundraising campaigns.

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