RCMP and volunteer Search and Rescue workers stationed themselves in a large parking area on the south of Mt. Woodside for much of Saturday

RCMP and volunteer Search and Rescue workers stationed themselves in a large parking area on the south of Mt. Woodside for much of Saturday

Charge laid in fatal Agassiz hang gliding accident

Hang gliding pilot charged with obstructing justice in RCMP investigation



The pilot involved in a fatal hang gliding accident on Saturday near Agassiz has now been charged by the RCMP.

William Johnathan Orders, a 50-year-old Burnaby man, was arrested after the incident, and has now been formally charged with obstructing justice. Police say Orders is alleged to have withheld potential key evidence which could help determine whether he played a role in any wrong doing.

Lenami Godinez, 27, was riding with Orders in a hang glider on Saturday at noon. They took off from a popular launch site on Mt. Woodside, just east of Agassiz. Seconds into the flight, the pilot realized something was wrong, and he scrambled to hang onto his student.

It was the first flight for Godinez, and an anniversary present from her boyfriend. He was videotaping the event as it happened. Godinez became detached from the glider when they were about 300 metres from the ground. In the struggle to keep the woman from falling, Orders lost his shoes.

RCMP, Kent Harrison Search and Rescue, and Chilliwack Search and Rescue launched an all-out effort to find the woman, employing dozens of volunteer searchers and an RCMP helicopter. At about 6:30 p.m. that day, rain was setting in and they were losing light. Just as they were calling off the search, someone spotted the pilot’s shoe in the heavily treed area.

Godinez’s body was found nearby.

Mt. Woodside is a very popular training ground for hang gliders and paragliders. While flyers can get caught up in trees at times and suffer minor injuries, everyone in the flying community agrees this is the first time someone has been detached from a glider and fatally injured.

RCMP announced on Monday afternoon that Orders was being charged with obstructing justice. He will see a judge in a Chilliwack courtroom on Wednesday.

The Agassiz RCMP and the BC Coroner’s Services are continuing their investigations.

“This is an absolutely tragic accident, there are really no other words to describe it,” said Corporal Tammy Hollingsworth. “What exactly happened as far as why she fell is still under investigation and we are hoping the investigation will answer that question as well as other questions we all may have.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
UPDATED: Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Oak Bay Police Department briefs for May 3 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Copper wire stolen after Oak Bay construction site targeted twice by thieves

Cop briefs include pair of impounded cars, swiped back medication

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Wildlife advocates calling for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants body to see cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Island community

Crofton residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
North Vancouver Island Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program ready to relaunch

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety while providing marine safety net

Most Read