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GoFundMe is supporting the family of a skier who was fatally injured in Banff National Park Achi-News

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GoFundMe is supporting the family of a skier who was fatally injured in Banff National Park

 Achi-News

Achi news desk-

A man who fell into a crevasse while leading a backcountry skiing group deep in the Canadian Rockies has died.

Friends have identified the man as Rob Coppollilo, a husband, father and owner of Vetta Mountain Guides of Seattle, Washington.

A close friend and professional colleague, Brian Lazar, says Coppollilo was leading a tour when the accident happened and his friend had all the right safety measures in place at the time.

On April 18, Parks Canada officials said they received an emergency call from Icefall Lodge, located in a remote area near the Lyell Icefield, about someone who had fallen into a crevasse near Christian Peak in Banff National Park.

Rescuers from Alpine Helicopters responded to the site near the Alberta-BC border to find the skier had been pulled and group members were providing first aid.

Officers say Coppollilo was in the crevasse for about an hour.

“Visitor safety specialists continued first aid and transported the critically injured skier to Lake Louise where they were transferred to the STARS air ambulance,” said James Eastham with Parks Canada.

STARS confirms they then transported the patient suffering from injuries “sustained from a fall in a mountainous area” to Foothills Medical Center in Calgary.

Stuart Brideaux, public education officer with Alberta Health Services, said EMS also has ground crews responding to the helipad in Lake Louise and emphasizes that this is a very large collaborative response among many agencies.

“The timing would have had to be critical to allow these things to go together. Initially being able to find it and retrieve it in very short order was very, very obviously key. The cold environment in which this happened was also a positive factor in everything in this situation,” he said.

“Being able to coordinate between not one but two helicopters to initiate these rescue and ground units to provide all that care was very important.”

Despite rescue efforts, Lazar says Coppollilo suffered severe hypothermia, remained unresponsive at the hospital and died shortly afterward.

A GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the family has raised more than $42,000 of its $50,0000 goal.

“This is an unimaginable loss for Rebecca, Dominic, Luca, and countless friends around the world. While Rebecca and the boys are strong, the support of their friends far and wide is helping to strengthen them as they struggle to navigate their new world without Rob,” wrote the page’s author, Michelle Lazar.

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