It is a sad ending to the year for staff and faculty at Thompson Rivers University following the death of a colleague last week in a traffic accident. Cameron Beddome, 45, died on Dec. 16 after his northbound van collided with a southbound Barriere logging truck on Highway 5 North near the Sun Peaks exit.He had been TRU’s Open Learning chief recruitment officer since 2007.
Colleagues at the university described Beddome as a hard worker with a great sense of humour.
“We are a campus in mourning for our colleague and we share our deepest condolences for his family and friends,” said Christopher Seguin, vice-president of advancement at TRU.
In a statement released on behalf of TRU president and vice-chancellor Alan Shaver, Beddome was said to have had a great sense of fun and enjoyed the odd practical joke
He had a great rapport with everyone he worked with and was always friendly and welcoming.
According to the university, Beddome was also very active in United Way campaigns and, under his watch, enrolment in Open Learning went from an all-time low to exceeding provincial requirements.
The exact cause of the crash has still not been determined, but witnesses who spoke to police said the van Beddome was driving apparently crossed the centre line, hitting the logging truck.
Regional coroner Mark Coleman said his office is waiting on information from RCMP collision analysts and toxicology tests from the victim.
He noted toxicology tests are standard any time a person dies in a motor-vehicle accident.
The results of the tests won’t be known for several weeks.
Road safety on the stretch of road could also become part of the investigation.
In March 2009, three people were killed when a tractor-trailer collided with an SUV on the same stretch of highway.
The road conditions at the time of last week’s accident were noted to be wet and slippery.
“One of the things we would be looking at in any investigation like this is what the road conditions were and whether that was a factor,” Coleman said.
“If it was, and we’re aware of previous incidents, we would certainly take a look at that.”