Second officer dies in hospital after avalanche near Kaslo, B.C.
January 23, 2023 By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Jan. 23, 2023, Nelson, B.C. – Nelson Police is dealing with another loss to the department after it was announced Saturday that a second officer involved in a backcountry skiing accident has died.
Nelson Police Chief Donovan Fisher said this morning via video release that Const. Mathieu Nolet had succumbed to his injuries and died Saturday morning at Kelowna Regional Hospital.
Chief Fisher said that Nolet’s fiancee, sister and parents were at his side.
“It is hard to fully express the sadness we are feeling here,” said Chief Fisher.
Const. Nolet, 28, and Const. Wade Tittemore, 43, were involved in an avalanche January 9, 2023, near the Goat Range Provincial Park northwest of Kaslo.
Const. Tittemore died at the scene while Const. Nolet was transported to hospital in Nelson.
Chief Fisher said that the memorial for Const. Tittemore was this past week, and now the department has lost a second officer and friend.
“It has been truly devastating,” Chief Fisher said.
Chief Fisher said Const. Nolet was a “dedicated, caring and positive young officer with nothing but promise for the future in the Nelson Police Department.”
Chief Fisher said both Const. Tittemore and Const. Nolet were experienced backcountry skiers and outdoor enthusiasts and had taken the proper equipment – probes and beacons – for their trek into the mountains near Kaslo, approximately 60 kilometers north of Nelson.
Chief Fisher said that Const. Nolet had worked with Nelson Police for just over a year, having transferred from the Calgary Police Department.
“Matt chose to live in Nelson, and have it as his home, because he loved the backcountry . . . he loved the community and loved all it had to offer,” Chief Fisher explained when describing Const. Nolet.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us.”
Nelson Mayor Janice Morrison explained how words often fail during time of tragedy and grief and profound loss.
The first-term mayor said that Nelson is a caring, compassionate community with a large heart.
Mayor Morrison said that Nelson is so fortunate to employ its own police department where the community gets to know the officers during their daily routines.
“This loss is going to resonate with all of our community,” Mayor Morrison said.
“Matt, Const. Nolet, will truly be missed.”
Mayor Morrison, as chairperson of the Nelson Police Board, said the board remains committed to the family of Const. Nolet, to provide whatever assistance is necessary during the grieving process and beyond.
“We are also committed to Chief Donovan and the Nelson Police Department as they move forward as well,” Mayor Morrison said.
“We’ve all been touched by this tragedy, and everyone is in our thoughts.”
Chief Fisher added that local RCMP have again volunteered to step up to cover Nelson Police shifts while officers and staff process this latest sad news to hit the department.
In honour of the death of the second Nelson Police Department officer, flags in the Heritage City were lowered to half-mast.
The City of Nelson, Mayor & Council, the Nelson Police Department and the Nelson Police Board wish to thank everyone who has written to express their sympathies.
Condolences from the public for both of the Constable’s families can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A GoFundMe-campaign for the families of the two officers had raised more than $77,000 on Saturday.
– The Nelson Daily
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