BC Coroner concludes avalanche investigation after five snowmobilers killed

TMTVNEWS.COM – The BC Coroners Service has concluded its scene investigation of the area of the Renfrew snowmobiling area near McBride where five men died on Jan. 29 as a result of an avalanche.

An avalanche technician retained by the BC Coroners Service examined the scene on Jan. 30 to help in determining the cause of the avalanche.

As this portion of the investigation is finished, the Coroners Service has no further need to keep the area closed to the public.

However, anyone thinking of heading into the area or anywhere else in B.C.’s back country is strongly urged to consult with the website of Avalanche Canada at: www.avalanche.cato determine the avalanche risk before going.

The BC Coroners Service also reinforces the advice of Avalanche Canada that all those heading into the back country should have taken avalanche training provided through Avalanche Canada and should be properly equipped.

The five men who died on Jan. 29 were among 17 persons who were snowmobiling in four separate groups in the Renshaw area, a large mapped area of snowmobile trails about 20 km east of McBride, when at about 1:30 p.m. they were caught in a large avalanche that hit the area.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate these deaths with the assistance of Avalanche Canada.

BC Coroners Service confirms identity of avalanche victims

The five were among 17 persons who were snowmobiling in four separate groups in the Renshaw area, a large mapped area of snowmobile trails about 20 km east of McBride on Jan. 29, 2016, when, about 1:30 p.m. they were caught in a large avalanche that hit the area. All were deceased on the scene.
The five were among 17 persons who were snowmobiling in four separate groups in the Renshaw area, a large mapped area of snowmobile trails about 20 km east of McBride on Jan. 29, 2016, when, about 1:30 p.m. they were caught in a large avalanche that hit the area. All were deceased on the scene.

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of five men who died in an avalanche near McBride on Jan. 29, 2016.

All five were from Alberta, and ranged in age from 41 to 55.

They are:

  • Vincent Eugene Loewen, aged 52, of Vegreville, Alberta.
  • Tony Christopher Greenwood, aged 41, of Grande Prairie County, Alberta.
  • Ricky Robinson, aged 55, of Spruce Grove, Alberta.
  • Todd William Chisholm, aged 47, of St. Albert, Alberta.
  • John Harold Garley, aged 49, of Stony Plain, Alberta.

The five were among 17 persons who were snowmobiling in four separate groups in the Renshaw area, a large mapped area of snowmobile trails about 20 km east of McBride on Jan. 29, 2016, when, about 1:30 p.m. they were caught in a large avalanche that hit the area. All were deceased on the scene.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate these deaths. The Coroners Service has ordered the Renshaw snowmobiling area closed until a certified avalanche technician retained by the service has completed an investigation of the scene.

The families of all five men have been notified of their deaths.

The BC Coroners Service would like to extend special thanks to the Robson Valley Search and Rescue team for their invaluable assistance in this incident.

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