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Nelson police officer dies in hospital after avalanche

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The second British Columbia police officer caught in an avalanche while skiing in the backcountry near Kaslo earlier this month has died.

The City of Nelson announced Saturday that Const. Mathieu Nolet, who was found by witnesses shortly after being caught in the January 9 slide and rushed to hospital, has died.

He had sustained serious internal injuries and died Saturday morning at a Kelowna hospital, according to the city’s statement.

Nolet and his Nelson Police Department colleague, Wade Tittemore, were off duty when the avalanche happened. Both were seasoned backcountry enthusiasts equipped with probes and beacons, according to the city.

Tittemore died at the scene. He was posthumously promoted to detective at a funeral in Nelson this week.

“It’s hard to fully express the sadness we feel here,” Nelson Police Chief Donovan Fisher said.

“The Const. Tittemore was last week, and now we have lost a second officer and friend. It’s devastating. »

Nolet had worked in Nelson for “just over a year”, according to the city. Like Tittemore, he previously served in the Calgary Police Department.

The two men were skiing near Goat Range Provincial Park when they were swept away by the avalanche.

The day after the incident, Fisher explained that Nolet suffered “multiple broken ribs, bones, and numerous other internal injuries” when the slide threw him into a tree.

“The way he hit him, he kind of got up a bit, so he had one arm out of the snow,” Fisher said, adding that Nolet was able to move his arm and draw the attention of other skiers and snowmobilers in the area.

Tittemore was later located, buried about two meters under snow, and could not be saved.

As late as Monday, Jan. 16, a week after the avalanche, officials said Nolet was making “gradual progress” but remained in intensive care.

News of his death prompted the city to lower its flags and Mayor Janice Morrison echoed Fisher’s sentiments at his passing.

“We have one of the smallest municipal police forces in the country,” Morrison said in the statement.

“This tragedy has hit us hard; our deepest condolences go to Const. Nolet’s family.

The City invites the public to send condolences on the deaths of the two officers to condolences@nelson.ca.

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