'You die a thousand deaths': Mother waits to hear from son following Snowbirds crash

Department of Defence says Capt. Jennifer Casey killed, pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall injured in Kamloops incident

Deborah Reid didn't have to wait too long to learn whether her son, a pilot, was involved in a fatal Snowbirds crash in Kamloops.

Reid said she received a message from her son, Capt. Logan Reid, shortly after the incident saying that he was OK.

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“You die a thousand deaths,” Reid said of the time spent waiting to find out whether her son was flying the plane.

“But, we’re the lucky ones, aren’t we? We can talk to our son tonight. That other family can’t. You feel their pain.”

One person died and another was seriously injured in the crash, which happened shortly after two planes took off from Kamloops about 11:30 a.m.

Reid and Logan’s father, David Reid, heard about the crash on Twitter. David Reid had just finished setting up his account and news of a downed Snowbirds plane was one of the first tweets that popped up on his feed.

Capt. Jennifer Casey
Capt. Jennifer Casey, public affairs officer for the Snowbirds, died after a crash in Kamloops on Sunday, May 17, 2020. - MCpl Mathieu St-Amour

In a statement, the Department of Defence said Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces, died in the incident. According to her biography on the Snowbirds website, Casey has a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Royal Roads University.

Capt. Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s co-ordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured, the statement said. His injuries have been described as non-life threatening.

Deborah Reid said she’s heartbroken for the families of the person killed and the pilot injured: “My heart goes out to the team.”

She said she is looking forward to a call from her son. He had planned to see his parents, who live on the Saanich Peninsula, when the squadron landed in Greater Victoria on Monday.

“It will be good to hear his voice tonight, that’s for sure,” she said.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

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