A British Columbia police officer, who was in the hospital with critical injuries after being hit by an avalanche, has died.
Const. Mathieu Nolet, a member of the Nelson Police Department, and colleague Const. Wade Tittemore were caught in an avalanche on Jan. 9 while out backcountry skiing in southeastern B.C.
The pair were some 60 km north of Nelson, near Empire Cabin, when the snow came down on them.
Nolet, 28, was taken to Kelowna General Hospital in critical condition with internal injuries and broken ribs. On Saturday (Jan. 21), he succumbed to his injuries.
Chief Const. Donovan Fisher says once again he has sad news.
"Flags are being lowered to half-mast here in the City of Nelson as we have lost our second officer that was involved in the avalanche," he says. "It has been truly devastating."
Nolet's fiance, his sister and his parents travelled to Kelowna from Ontario to be with him.
"I visited Nolet several times in the hospital, he was upbeat and positive, as much as he could be given the circumstances," says Fisher.
Nolet had been with Nelson Police for approximately a year.
"Nolet was a dedicated, caring and a positive young police officer with nothing but promise for the future in the Nelson Police Department," says Fisher.
Fisher explains how Nolet will be greatly missed by them.
"Const. Nolet also started his career with Calgary Police Service where after roughly a year he transferred to Nelson to take advantage of the many outdoor activities and the beautiful scenery," said Fisher. “It is hard to fully express the sadness we are feeling here."
Tittemore, 43, had been with the force for four years and before that was with Calgary police for 11 years. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Tittemore was posthumously promoted to detective during his funeral.
Fisher announced Tittemore's promotion saying they had already planned to move the constable up to their general investigation section before he died.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $76,000 for the families.
- with files from The Canadian Press