Two brothers from Pennsylvania were killed in an avalanche Monday during a helicopter ski (heli ski) trip in Canada, according to their company and multiple reports.
Jon and Tim Kinsley were heli skiing on an off-trail slope near Mount McCrae in British Columbia when they were caught up in an avalanche along with their guide, WGAL reported. Rescuers dug Jon, 59, and Tim, 57, out of the snow, and the brothers were flown to Kelowna General Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead, according to CBC. Their guide, who was partially buried, is currently in stable condition, the outlet reported. The brothers helmed Kinsley Enterprises, a real estate and construction company based in central Pennsylvania. (RELATED: Father And Son Go Skiing In ‘Backcountry’, Only One Survives)
In helicopter skiing, a helicopter is used to access backcountry areas for downhill, off-trail skiing.
“The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are our family,” Rob Rohn, president and COO of CMH Heli-Skiing, said in a written statement on the company’s website, cited by CBC. “It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that we feel and the sadness that is shared by our guests, their families and all of our staff.”
We are deeply heartbroken to share news of the sudden and tragic passing of Jonathan Kinsley and his brother, Timothy Kinsley. We are grateful for your love, understanding and prayers as our entire Kinsley family manages this loss: https://t.co/yPXzDYtNee pic.twitter.com/TCxdSnIrtf
— Kinsley Construction (@KinsleyCo) January 24, 2023
Many in York County, Pennsylvania, where Kinsley Enterprises is based, are reportedly reeling from the loss. “It’s almost impossible to turn a corner in York and not encounter a project or an endeavor that has their fingerprints on it,” York County Economic Alliance President and CEO Kevin Schreiber told WGAL. Schreiber said the two men were genuinely kind and loved their community.
York College of Pennsylvania’s school of engineering is named after the family, the outlet added.
“Our entire Kinsley family is still processing this heartbreaking news of their deaths and respectfully ask for privacy at this time,” family spokesperson Patrick Kinsley wrote in a statement to CBC.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the cause of the avalanche, WGAL reported. “We’ll speak with a lot of experts, those who will know about avalanches and avalanche safety and aeronautics and just a variety of different groups,” Sgt. Chris Manseau told the outlet.
“We don’t purport to be experts in this for sure, so we’ll lead on a lot of our partners in the area for that. But at this point, just looking to see if there’s any criminality, although there’s nothing to indicate that at this time,” he continued.