Canada

Fatal Mont Tremblant gondola crash victim identified as Ontario man

The Quebec coroner’s office has identified the man who died Sunday morning after being removed from a Mont-Tremblant gondola as Sheldon Johnson, 50, of Kingston, Ontario.

And earlier Monday, Quebec police confirmed that the type of construction equipment involved in the accident that killed Johnson and seriously injured a woman also in her 50s was an excavator owned by a third party.

“The woman is still in critical condition at a Montreal-area hospital this morning,” said SQ spokeswoman Audrey Anne Bilodeau, who said she was scheduled to undergo surgery.

Police say the woman is also from Ontario, but it is not yet known what, if any, relationship the two gondola passengers have to each other.

The two were riding in a gondola halfway up the mountain, but were thrown out of the cabin by the impact of the machine. Police said it fell several meters to the ground, but could not determine the exact distance.

The gondola struck the machine halfway up a mountain at a popular ski resort about 105 kilometers northwest of Montreal, and police later added that two gondolas collided, one of which was unmanned.

Bilodeau said it was not yet clear why the excavator was operating near the moving gondola.

“We still have to meet a lot of witnesses, including of course the man who ran the drill. He was in shock after this,” she said.

multiple surveys

The Quebec Commission for Workplace Safety and Health (CNESST) and the Quebec Legal Affairs Bureau (RBQ) are also investigating, as are the police.

Bilodeau said police will interrogate the drilling operators once their condition improves and inspect the equipment itself to see if there were any “mechanical problems” before considering whether to file criminal charges. Stated.

CNESST spokeswoman Cindy L’Heureux told CTV that two officers are currently conducting an on-site investigation. They will focus on how work with the drill press was being done from a safety standpoint, she said.

Lulu said the board had ordered neither the drill nor the gondola to be removed from the crash site until further notice.

Late Monday afternoon, the RBQ said it could only decide if an investigation was warranted after more information was gathered. Two inspectors are on site.

A spokesman for the construction industry regulator, RBQ, said in an email that the aerial work platform will be inspected to ensure it complies with regulations governing ski lift operations. bottom.

“Since 2017, RBQ has inspected 10 Mont-Tremblant ski lifts, including the one involved in the July 16 accident. It was not issued,” said Laurent Berbet.

flag at half mast

As soon as the Tremblant Resort Association learned of the fatality, they canceled all activities on the mountain for the day, including the blues music festival.

On Monday, flags around the resort will be flown at half-mast in honor of the family.

Resort spokesperson Annick Aird said: “It’s hard. It’s a very difficult time for us. It’s hard for all of our staff. We are really with our family.”

Aird also said he knew the equipment on the hill was an excavator, but he didn’t know what work was being done there.

She said the SQ had set up a command post there and was trying to talk to a number of witnesses who were in the area that day.

“People are trying to understand[what happened]so are we, and the investigation will help that,” Aird said.


– With files from the Canadian news agency

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