Broderick Burkhart-Thorne, 11, died on Cortes Island in a tragic incident involving an off-road vehicle on March 28, 2019. Photo courtesy Misty Thorne

UPDATED: Campaign launched for family of boy, 11, killed in ATV rollover on Cortes Island

Police say child was found pinned beneath off-road vehicle

An 11-year-old boy is dead following an ATV rollover on Cortes Island on Thursday, and community members have launched a campaign to support his family.

A post on the Tideline, a Cortes Island community website, identified the victim as Broderick Burkhart-Thorne.

The post asked members of the community to help provide his parents and four siblings with meals, which are being scheduled through the website Meal Train.

Donations to assist the grieving family with funeral expenses and other costs are also being accepted through a GoFundMe account (gofundme.com/help-the-burkhartthorne-family-after-tragedy).

The tragic incident has prompted an outpouring of support from the community.

“I can tell you that we are all deeply hurt by the loss of a young child, and that our thoughts are with the surviving members of the family through this difficult time,” said Mac Diver, chief of Cortes Island Fire Rescue.

A family member and a neighbour found Burkhart-Thorne pinned underneath an off-road vehicle on Thursday afternoon, said Cpl. Sean Bulford of the Quadra Island RCMP detachment, which is responsible for Cortes Island.

“By the time he was found – they went looking for him, and he was deceased,” said Bulford.

He said the boy appears to have rounded a corner on the ATV and rolled over a slight embankment. The boy was alone at the time, he said.

The tragic death took place on private land in a remote area near Squirrel Cove, Bulford said.

Police from the West Coast Marine Services who were patrolling Cortes Island at the time were the first to arrive on the scene, he said.

An 11-year-old boy died in an ATV rollover near Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island on March 29, 2019. Image from Google Maps

Mounties from Quadra Island also attended, along with officials from the BC Coroners Service and Victim Services, Emergency Health Services and Cortes Island Fire Rescue.

The BC Coroner is in the “very early stages of its fact-finding investigation” involving the death of a young male on Cortes Island, said spokesperson Andy Watson.

BC Emergency Health Services responded to the incident at 5:14 p.m. on Thursday, said spokesperson Shannon Miller.

A community paramedic on Cortes Island and local paramedic unit were dispatched and arrived on the scene in 15 minutes, she said.

An air ambulance helicopter was also immediately auto-launched to Cortes Island from Vancouver, she said, referring to a rapid response procedure used in acute care emergencies. Miller said the patient wasn’t transported and that no further information could be released by BCEHS.

Cortes Island Fire Rescue confirmed that an accident took place involving a young male, but declined to provide further details.

This article was updated on April 1 to include a photo of Broderick Burkhart-Thorne, updated information about the support campaign for the Burkhart-Thorne family, and a quote from Mac Diver, chief of Cortes Island Fire Rescue.


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