News » Whistler

Squamish man who died in Highway 99 crash identified

Police Briefs: California man dies while catskiing; Woman allegedly attacks cab driver



A man killed in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 99 on Dec. 17 has been identified by the BC Coroners Service as 41-year-old Cristian Jose Oreamuno of Squamish.

Oreamuno was the driver and sole occupant of a pickup truck that was involved in a head-on collision with a Nissan Pathfinder approximately five kilometres south of Whistler just before 9 a.m. on Dec. 17, the coroners service said in a release.

Oreamuno's truck caught fire on impact.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the second vehicle — which was headed south towards Squamish — suffered a broken leg and was taken to the Whistler Medical Centre.

The incident closed the highway in both directions for several hours.

The BC Coroners Service continues to investigate the death in conjunction with the RCMP Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service.

-Braden Dupuis

Skier dies in 'snow immersion event' while catskiing

A 53-year-old California man is dead after "a traumatic snow immersion event" while skiing with his wife and children on a guided snowcat tour with Powder Mountain.

The accident happened Saturday, Dec. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in the Tricouni Meadows area of Powder Mountain's tenure.

Powder Mountain released a media statement to Pique Tuesday night but would not comment on the incident. It is not clear if the accident is from a tree well or a snow depression.

Powder Mountain guides and two off-duty paramedics started CPR, which continued as the man was transported by snow cat to an ambulance and then to the Squamish General Hospital.

He was later transported to Vancouver General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

- Alison Taylor

Delta police warn of Whistler rental scam

Delta police are warning of a rental scam that uses Whistler vacation rentals as bait for eager tourists.

The scam, which has been a recurring headache for local investigators, involves supposed resort rental properties advertised on Craigslist.  In all the cases, police said the rental property either does not exist or has no connection to the scammer.

"Most of the rentals (investigated) were for Whistler rentals during the Christmas period, so our concern was that there would be a bunch of people with bags packed, gifts and turkeys showing up in Whistler for a rental that either doesn't exist or the (owner isn't renting the property)," explained Assistant Sgt. Sarah Swallow with the Delta Police Department. So far, investigators have uncovered at least six cases of fraud throughout the Lower Mainland. Police have confirmed the scam has extended to victims across Canada and Washington state.

Police urged resort visitors to confirm the ownership and legitimacy of the property beforehand and to never make wire transfers, E-transfers or prepaid credit card payments to individuals you don't have a personal relationship with.

Police said the scammers typically use fake email addresses that match stolen identification to add credence to their online personas.

"People really have to be aware and practice due diligence in ensuring they're not getting scammed," said Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair. "The best thing to do is a face-to-face meeting with somebody."

Woman attacks cab driver, cops say

A Whistler woman who tried to skip out on her cab fare got more trouble than she bargained for after reportedly attacking a taxi driver. After trying to flee from the Husky gas station in Creekside without paying her bill, a taxi driver restrained the 33-year-old woman while several witnesses looked on and tried to deescalate the situation, police said. The suspect also allegedly bit and kicked the driver in her attempt to escape.

The woman's aggressive behaviour continued once Mounties arrived. RCMP said she resisted arrest and kicked an officer "several times" while being escorted to the police vehicle. She also managed to slip her handcuffs while being transported to the detachment. The local woman now faces several counts of assault.

Man who allegedly attacked group at pub was 'screaming about ISIS,' police say

A Chiliwack man arrested at a village pub last week has at least one hobby in common with U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: Screaming nonsense about ISIS.

On Dec. 21, police arrived at the bar after a fight was reported. Upon arrival, officers spoke to a witness who said the 30-year-old had approached a group of people on the patio and began "screaming about ISIS, threatening one male and making nonsensical statements," according to LeClair.

The man also reportedly leapt across an outdoor fire pit and kicked a glass at one of the males in the group, "shattering it in his face," LeClair said. The suspect was restrained and escorted from the bar, where he continued to scream about the terrorist group, according to a witness. LeClair did not know what motivated the outbursts.

The suspect now faces numerous charges, police said.