Well-liked Little Shuswap Indian band member dies after crash

The Little Shuswap Indian Band lost a well-known and well-liked member earlier this month.

  • Apr. 19, 2012 3:00 p.m.

The Little Shuswap Indian Band lost a well-known and well-liked member earlier this month.
On April 3 about 11 p.m., Chase RCMP Const. Brian Kukhta responded to a single-vehicle accident on Squilax Anglemont Road, along with BC Ambulance Service, Chase Fire Rescue and the Little Shuswap Volunteer Fire Department.
Peter Arnouse, a 31-year-old member of the Little Shuswap Indian Band, died as a result of a crash in his 1995 Dodge Neon. The vehicle went out of  control, left the roadway and struck a utility pole.
He will be missed by his daughter, large extended family and community.
More than 100 people gathered April 11 for Arnouse’s funeral in Squilax, according to Rena Gregoire, a distant cousin who works at Quaaout Lodge & Talking Rock Golf Course where Arnouse sometimes worked when not at the band office.
“He came from a big family – he was the second youngest in his family of several brothers and two sisters,” said Gregoire. “He was a great guy. He was very likable, everyone liked him. He was very helpful.”
Arnouse was alone in his car when he went off the road. A gas station attendant nearby was alerted to the crash when he heard tires squealing and saw a large cloud of dust, said Chase RCMP Const. Lora Ford.
The vehicle airbag deployed, but unfortunately the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
The car snapped a utility pole in half about 10 feet up and came to rest on its wheels with power lines wrapped around it.
B.C. Hydro cut the power, which allowed emergency workers to reach the lone driver.
“He sustained some critical, life-threatening injuries,” said Ford.
He was still alive, however, and was taken to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops where family rushed to his side.
He was put on life support and died a few days later, police report.
Ford said the entire community will miss Arnouse.
“He was quite a well-known local guy. He grew up in the area. Played ball in the area for a lot of years. Went to school here in Chase.”
Although a crash reconstruction report has yet to be completed, Ford said investigators suspect speed and alcohol may have been factors.
“We can’t say for sure, of course. But according to the witness and what we saw at the scene, those are what we’ll be looking at as contributing factors.”