Victim of fatal Highway 97 crash identified as Summerland mushroom farm worker

The victim of a devastating fatal head-on collision along Highway 97 on Friday night has been identified by his employer as Simon-Pierre Houde.

The young mushroom farm worker was travelling northbound in a Mazda vehicle along Drought Hill in Peachland when the driver of a southbound Buick sedan crossed the centre line.

The two vehicles collided head-on and Pierre-Houde was killed instantly, police said. The collision occurred around 9:45 p.m. and caused a chain reaction.

“The collision between the Buick and Mazda subsequently resulted in collisions with two other nearby vehicles,” West Kelowna RCMP said in a press release.

“The driver of the Mazda was pronounced deceased on scene and the driver of the Buick was transported to Kelowna General Hospital with minor injuries.”

Pierre-Houde spent the past four years working at What The Fungus, a Summerland-run mushroom farm that grows a variety of gourmet mushrooms for the culinary industry and farmers markets throughout the Okanagan.

His employer posted a heartfelt message on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.

“Regretfully, I have sad news to report. On Friday night we lost Simon-Pierre Houde. He died in a head on collision and did not survive,” the post said.

“Simon has been a loyal and valuable team member to @what_the_fungus for over the past 4 years. Simon was family. We are all so incredibly sad and words cannot express the loss. It is hard to say goodbye to someone so young who had so much potential. Simon was well liked and will never be forgotten.”

The post added that colleagues with remember Pierre-Houde as a supportive, dedicated employee with a great sense of humour.

“You made work fun and valued your opinions ALWAYS. All I have say to you bud is how will I ever get the wood sanded and stained in the production area now that you are gone.”

Central Okanagan Traffic Services has taken over the investigation and is requesting any witnesses or those with dash cam footage of the incident to contact them at 250-491-5354 and to cite file number 2020-1975.

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