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Family identifies university volleyball player killed in Kamloops, B.C., crash

Erin Walter, left, says her son Owyn McInnis was the young man killed in a mutli-vehicle collision in Kamloops on Wednesday. McInnis, in his early 20s, was an outside hitter for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's volleyball team. (Owyn McInnis/Instagram - image credit)
Erin Walter, left, says her son Owyn McInnis was the young man killed in a mutli-vehicle collision in Kamloops on Wednesday. McInnis, in his early 20s, was an outside hitter for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's volleyball team. (Owyn McInnis/Instagram - image credit)

The Thompson Rivers University volleyball player killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Kamloops, B.C., Wednesday has been identified by his mother as Owyn McInnis.

McInnis was a fourth-year outside hitter for the TRU WolfPack originally from Guelph, Ont., according to a Friday Instagram post from his mother, Erin Walter.

Walter said her son's death is her worst nightmare come true.

"Our son had no chance to survive," Walter wrote. "Medical professionals worked so hard to save Owyn [but] you can't unring those words from the coach and ER doctor."

McInnis, whom RCMP say was in his 20s, was pursuing a bachelor of science at TRU and had hoped to help bring a men's national volleyball title to the university, he said in 2021.

Walter said she and her family are in Kamloops "putting the pieces together" after the crash, which also sent two of McInnis' teammates to hospital with serious "life-altering" injuries, according to RCMP.

"As we navigate these unbearable waters, please send love and energy to the two other boys. We don't want another set of parents to experience what we are right now," Walter wrote.

The young player was also engaged to be married, according to a Saturday statement from the TRU WolfPack.

A funeral will be arranged in Guelph, Walter said, and the family will "keep his legacy alive."

McInnis was originally from Guelph, Ont. and was engaged to be married, according to his family and the university.
McInnis was originally from Guelph, Ont. and was engaged to be married, according to his family and the university.

McInnis was originally from Guelph, Ont., and was engaged to be married, according to his family and the university. (Owyn McInnis/Instagram)

Before he died on Wednesday, McInnis posted pictures of his mother's recent visit to Kamloops with another family member.

"Always nice when the Ontarian's come to visit," he wrote on Nov. 29.

After CBC News reached out to both Walter and McInnis' fianceé, a TRU spokesperson declined the requests on their behalf and said in an email the family was asking for privacy.

RCMP said on Wednesday McInnis was killed and his two teammates seriously injured when their small car was hit by an out-of-control truck and pushed into a busy intersection in Kamloops, causing a multi-car pileup.

The crash happened at the intersection of McGill Road and University Drive Wednesday near the TRU campus. Seven other people were injured, three of whom needed hospital care.

The names of the other two players injured have not been released.

Kamloops RCMP are investigating the incident, and asking witnesses and anyone with dashcam footage from the area to contact them.

All WolfPack games are postponed until further notice, the TRU athletics department said in a Thursday post on Instagram.

A memorial scholarship is being set-up to honour McInnis's legacy, according to the TRU WolfPack.
A memorial scholarship is being set-up to honour McInnis's legacy, according to the TRU WolfPack.

A memorial scholarship is being set up to honour McInnis's legacy, according to the TRU WolfPack. (TRU WolfPack)

'Teammate and so much more'

A memorial scholarship in McInnis' memory has been set-up and is now accepting donations, according to the TRU athletics department.

Two anonymous donors have already contributed $20,000 to the Owyn McInnis Memorial Men's Volleyball Athletic Award, the TRU WolfPack said in a Saturday post to X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Owyn was a son, brother, fiancé, teammate and so much more," the WolfPack wrote in the post. "He brightened the day of anyone lucky enough to talk with him and we miss him greatly."

McInnis was in his early 20s and graduated from John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph, Ont.

He also played lacrosse and hockey at high levels, and began his university volleyball career at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.

McInnis joined the WolfPack in 2021, according to the teams' rosters, and the team was excited for his multi-sport background, head coach Pat Hennelly said at the time.