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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Hang Gliding Death, and Worse

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - After a woman died in a hang gliding accident, a launch site operator "swallowed the memory card from his video camera affixed to the hang glider, for the purpose of destroying evidence," the woman's parents claim in court.

Miguel Godinez and Helinda Ramirez claim in B.C. Supreme Court that their daughter Lenami Dafne Godinez Avila plunged 300 meters to her death after taking off for a tandem hang glider flight with defendant William Orders.

They also sued Hurlstone Ventures Inc., Shaun Wallace, Vancouver Hang Gliding, the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada, the British Columbia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and the West Coast Soaring Club.

They claim, inter alia, that Wallace and Orders failed to conduct pre-flight safety inspections to make sure Godinez was secured to the hang glider.

After takeoff, she was unable to hold her grip and fell to her death, before which she "experienced conscious pain, suffering, shock, and terror," the complaint states.

The parents claim that Orders then "swallowed the memory card from his video camera affixed to the hang glider, for the purpose of destroying evidence he knew or should have known was capable of incriminating the defendants ... in a criminal and/or civil prosecution."

They seek special, punitive, and aggravated damages for breach of duty of care, negligence and wrongful death.

They are represented by Donald J. Renaud with Campbell Renaud in Burnaby, B.C.

Orders was sentenced in February to five months in prison for criminal negligence causing death.

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