Big White Ski Resort has been closed since March 16, in response to COVID-19. Photo Facebook

‘All avoidable’: Man suffers back injury at closed Big White ski hill near Kelowna

Accident was “all avoidable” says Big White executive

A 19-year-old man was seriously injured Friday at Big White Ski Resort, despite the fact the facility has been closed for nearly a month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Chris Cormack of the Big White Fire Department said an individual came to the nearby fire hall around 3:10 p.m. to inform crew members of the injured man.

“We happened to have somebody at the hall who called dispatch, he said. “We had two trucks respond and eight members.”

The ski has been closed since March 16 due to COVID-19, and with no ski patrollers on site, Cormack said the situation could have ended far worse.

“Fortunately it was close to the fire hall and we were able to respond on foot, but if it was farther away it would have been a very different story.”

Crews walked across the snow to the Telus Park, where the man had injured his back.

Michael Ballingall, resort vice-president, said that the incident was “all avoidable.”

“They had to provide first aid, a backboard, a neck-brace, and physically walk him out to the road, at which time he was handed over to B.C. Ambulance and transported to Kelowna General Hospital.”

The man is being treated for a serious back injury.

Ballingall urged people to stay away from Big White until further notice.

“The mountain is closed, the creeks have started to run, the snow is shifting, and it is simply dangerous to be out on a mountain that is not patrolled, groomed, fenced or managed at this time,” he said.

“Please do not venture out on Big White Mountain. You are just putting yourself in danger, and first responders, plus those on the front lines in a position that is not necessary if they are required to provide you with care.”

READ MORE: Ski season at Big White comes to an early close due to COVID-19

Big White, located 56 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, is the third largest ski resort in B.C.

When the mountains and the resort village were shuttered on March 16, there were 6,000 people on site.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusKelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Search continues for wolf, senior citizen being transferred to Vancouver

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Sunken Gardens bloom from deeply seeded efforts

Garden club members are rooted in dedication

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Most Read