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

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

Investigators comb through Chilliwack house following standoff

RCMP say investigation involves report of an early morning shooting

Fraser Valley Health Foundation annouces fifth annual golf tourney

Proceeds will benefit medical facilites across the Valley

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

Chilliwack dad rescues his two young daughters after truck plunges into Cultus Lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read