A 40-year-old Kamloops man has been charged in connection to the Nov. 4, 2016, hit and run death of teenager Jennifer Gatey.
Jason Charles Gourlay was arrested by Mounties on Friday, March 3, and has been charged with failure to stop an an accident scene and possession of heroin, the latter charge stemming from drugs allegedly found in his Dufferin home.
Mounties announced the charges at a press conference Monday morning.
Gatey was struck and killed as she left her home to catch a bus on Pacific Way, just south of Aberdeen Drive. She was struck and killed at about 6:30 p.m. on a Friday, when it was dark, about 100 feet from her home as she was on her way to work out at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The driver of the vehicle that struck her did not stop and drove away. Police soon released video from a home-surveillance system in the area showing what appeared to be a dark-coloured Jeep-style vehicle in the area at about the time Gatey was killed.
During the next two days, Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, police received a tip and descended on a home in Dufferin, across Highway 1 from Aberdeen. There, police strung yellow tape around the yard and covered the front half of a black Jeep with a tarp as they examined the vehicle. There was what appeared to minor damage to the driver’s side front end of the vehicle.
Police then seized the Jeep and have been in possession of it ever since as they await final forensic results of what they may have found on the vehicle.
On Nov. 7, KTW reported that police had a suspect in the Gatey fatal hit and run and that he had spoken to Mounties. That suspect was Gourlay, owner of the Jeep and the same person whose lawyers have been arguing in court as recently as late last month against an RCMP request to retain possession of the Jeep for further analysis.
Police are generally allowed to keep seized items for 90 days. If no charges are laid during that time, the items must be returned unless a judge decides otherwise. The hearing is scheduled to take place in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday, March 9.