Enderby man identified as victim of motorcycle crash

Two men killed in separate accidents eight hours apart Sunday on rural North Okanagan roads

The B.C. coroners service is investigating two separate fatal North Okanagan motor vehicle accidents Sunday.

Herman Gerrits, 64, of Enderby, died Sunday morning when the motorcycle he was operating collided head-on with a Ford F350 pickup truck shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Enderby-Grindod Road.

A 25-year-old Lumby man was killed in a single-vehicle accident just before 2:30 a.m. on Whitevale Road in the village. His name had not been released by press time Tuesday.

Two fatal accidents in one day in the local RCMP detachment area is rare.

“Words can’t describe it,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gerry Kovacs on Monday. “They’re both sad stories. Having two in one day is a significant blow and it’s a significant strain on our resources. Police, emergency, in two jurisdictions, up through the night, get some sleep and get another call out.”

The RCMP has been assisting the coroner with the investigations into the accidents.

In Lumby, RCMP, Lumby Fire and Rescue, emergency services personnel and an RCMP accident reconstructionist received a report of a single vehicle rollover in the 1000 block of Whitevale Road.

The vehicle, a Ford F350 truck, was located overturned on the roadway.

“The driver of the vehicle had been ejected; the passenger escaped from the vehicle and began CPR on the driver,” said Kovacs.

The vehicle, Kovacs said, was occupied by two Lumby brothers, 25 and 23.

The driver, the 25-year-old, died of his injuries at the scene.

Kovacs said there is some indication the truck left the roadway for a bit, contacting the roadside ditch and ended up back on the road.

He also said the brothers had received a call to “come over and help some friends out with a vehicle.”

“We don’t know what was happening before that,” said Kovacs.

Police are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the accident or the vehicle prior to the crash, to contact Lumby RCMP at 250-547-2151.

Kovacs said Gerrits, who, he said, “was relatively new to driving a motorcycle,” was northbound when he struck a southbound F350 pickup head-on.

The four people in the truck reported no injuries.

Police are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the collision or the vehicles prior to the crash, to contact Enderby RCMP at 250-838-6818.

Both accidents are still in the early stages of investigation.