A 33-year-old Vancouver Island man has been sentenced in the 2019 deaths of two people in a crash on the Island Highway north of Campbell River.
Kyle O’Callaghan has been sentenced to four years in jail followed by a five-year driving ban for killing two people, Charlotte Van Valkenburg and her cousin, Curtis Bartley, from Washington State and injuring three of their family members.
The Americans were in a three-car caravan on a trip to Bella Coola on Sept. 15, 2019, when the second car was hit by O’Callaghan’s F-150 pickup truck around 5:30 p.m.
Following the crash, RCMP said the driver of the pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction crossed the centre line on a right-hand curve in the road, started to slide sideways and collided with the middle vehicle.
“Family members in vehicles in front and behind unfortunately witnessed the whole event,” RCMP Const. Dave Dormuth told CHEK News at the time.
Highway 19 just north of Campbell River was wet, and investigators determined O’Callaghan was driving between 105 and 118 km an hour in a 60 zone when he lost control.
They closed the highway for about five hours following the crash.
O’Callaghan, from Campbell River, pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and three counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
A family member of the deceased was in Campbell River court on Tuesday for the sentencing and read several victim impact statements.
The judge told O’Callahan what happened was “utterly appalling and completely avoidable.”
READ 2019 STORY: Two killed in late afternoon crash on Highway 19