Grimsby devastated after two people from the town die in B.C. ski accident
GRIMSBY, Ont. (CP) — A close-knit southern Ontario community mourned Saturday in coffee shops and hockey arenas as word spread that two members of the town lost their lives in a skiing accident in British Columbia.
“They’re pretty much in shock. I think the reality of it has begun to sink in and now we’re just trying to cope with it, trying to understand,” said a stunned Ken Watson, manager of the Grimsby Minor Hockey Association, as he described how the deaths of Steve Babb, 47, and Sam Vogl, 17, have rocked the small town.
Babb, his son Colin, 16, and the teen’s friend, Vogl took to the slopes Thursday afternoon at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in B.C.’s interior when they decided to go off the groomed path.
They skied to the base of a steep, icy incline, and tried to walk up it, but instead fell, sliding 100 metres before going over a cliff.
RCMP said Colin was the only survivor, but he suffered a broken ankle during the fall.
The frightened teenager managed to make a call from a cellphone he had with him.
“He was calm enough to make the appropriate calls and stay on the line to our communications centre people, but he’s also a 16year-old boy that just went through a devastating, scary event,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Jacquie Olsen, as she described the teen’s composure during the harrowing incident.
While family members were in B.C. Saturday dealing with the devastating loss and waiting for Colin to have surgery, Watson said friends back home were talking, as they tried to make sense of what happened.
“People are just sort of congregating,” said Watson. The hockey arena in this quiet town near St. Catharines, where Colin Babb and Vogl grew up playing the game, was full of people sharing stories.
Watson said Vogl was a popular leader in his peer group, and worked on the student council at Grimsby District Secondary School.
Facebook tributes poured out for Babb and Vogl, as thousands of members wrote their condolences on the page and others posted photos of a smiling Vogl dressed up in costume.
“He was the kind of friend that never let you down, who was always there for you, and whenever you weren’t doing so good he would make you smile,” Santoy Mckenly wrote in an email about his friend, Vogl.
Mckenly said Vogl was one of the first to make him feel welcome when he started at the school.
“Sam Vogl was the guy who instantly made friends with me, from then on we became best friends. When I was told about the accident it absolutely broke my heart,” Mckenly said. “Just thinking of it makes me cry.”
Alannah Morton-Reeve, who also went to school with Vogl, said the teen had a great sense of humour.
“ There was one thing that everyone new about him and that is that he was always a happy guy and had the biggest smile. He would light up the faces of everyone around him and he was always so positive,” Morton-Reeve wrote in an email, as she remembered how Vogl lifted school spirits by dressing up as Santa Claus one day. VANCOUVER — A vast network of security cameras set up for the Winter Olympics doesn’t go on line officially until today, but it’s already nabbed its first miscreant.
The apprehension of the apparently hapless drunk has police crowing about the efficiency of the cameras.
But privacy watchdogs have been nervous about the unprecedented deployment of electronic surveillance in Canada and sought assurances the cameras will be gone as quickly as the athletes after the Games.
More than a thousand new closed-circuit cameras will be in place monitoring the boundaries of Olympic venues and spots in Vancouver and Whistler where crowds will gather.
That doesn’t include existing cameras inside venues such as BC Place stadium and Canada Hockey Place, others already mounted in downtown buildings and a handful of cameras controlled by the B.C. government at their Robson Square celebration venue.
The sheer number of them pales in comparison to the thousands keeping an eye on British TORONTO (CP) — Starting Monday drivers in Ontario could be paying a price for texting friends, picking up a cellphone to call the boss or browsing through song selections on mp3 players.
Drivers can be forgiven for thinking Ontario’s so-called distracted driver law was already in effect — citizens, but it’s by far the largest concentration of state-controlled cameras in any jurisdiction in Canada.
“I guess our concern has remained more the use of cameras after the Olympics rather than during the Olympics,” says Jim Burrows, a spokesman for the B.C. Information and Privacy Commission.
“There certainly is this concern about this legacy of cameras and what plans for them will be.”
But the networks’ operators — and it has been, since October — but as of 12:01 a.m. Monday the grace period ends and anyone caught breaking the law will be slapped with a $155 fine.
But if a driver challenges that ticket in court the judge has the discretion to knock it down to as low as $60 or boost it to up to $500. Similar legislation has been in effect in British Columbia since Jan. 1, but starting Monday drivers in that there are two — have tried to reassure the B.C. commission and its federal counterpart that this isn’t a back-door attempt to set up a British-style Big Brother system.
Chantel Bernier, assistant privacy commissioner of Canada, whose office has jurisdiction over the ISU cameras, says it’s been promised the cameras will come down once the Games are over.
“Certainly we will ensure that does occur and we will continue the dialogue with them to ensure that does occur,” she says.