March 09, 2014 - 12:37 PM
LUMBY – The man trapped in an avalanche east of Lumby Saturday afternoon, who later succumbed to his injuries in hospital, has been identified as AJ Cleary from Coldstream, according to media reports.
Global Okanagan says Cleary was a nurse at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and an avid outdoor enthusiast.
RCMP say the 34-year-old was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital but did not survive his injuries.
“The man had been out sledding with five friends in the Keefer Lake area when he was caught in the avalanche,” Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says. “He was buried in several metres of snow and was dug out by friends and other rescuers.”
Matt Devlin with Kingfisher Heliskiing says they were finished with their skiing day when the got the call for assistance.
“We responded, and happened to have our helicopter out there, so we did what we could to help out,” Devlin says. “It’s a difficult time for everyone here because the people involved are friends of ours.”
The victim was loaded into Kingfisher Heliskiing’s chopper and flown to the staging area in Cherryville.
From there he was flown by air ambulance to Kelowna General.
The RCMP says the case has been turned over to the B.C. Coroners Service.
Donations to the Cleary family can be made here.
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—This story was edited at 10:45 a.m. March 10 to include the deceased’s name, at 11:55 a.m. March 10 to add a photo of AJ Cleary and again on March 14 to add a link to the donation page.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014