A falling tree claimed the life of a woman on the Ripple Rock Trail on Tuesday, according to the RCMP.
Now the provincial government says that tree didn’t pose a risk when the trail was assessed in March and a recreational officer says the fatal portion of Ripple Rock Trail is safe.
The 57-year-old woman was with her daughter on the popular route north of Campbell River when the tragedy occurred.
They had hiked for about three kilometres when the tree came down.
Despite attempts to provide medical attention to the woman by her daughter, who is a nurse, and another hiker, a former military medic, the woman succumbed to her injuries.
The Campbell River RCMP described it as a “sudden death.”
“The force of the tree left no hope for survival,” the RCMP said in a media release, adding that the police expressed their condolences to the family.
The mother and daughter were transported from the scene by the Coast Guard and Search and Rescue, the RCMP said.
Emergency Health Services contacted the Coast Guard asking for help with a “seriously injured hiker” near Nymphe Cove in Seymour Narrows at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Michelle Imbeau, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard.
The CCGS Cape Palmerston was dispatched with a rescue specialist, along with a fast rescue boat, she said.
The Coast Guard then “transported the casualty with Emergency Health Services back to Campbell River,” said Imbeau.
The BC Coroner, which is leading the investigation, said the woman was from 150 Mile House, near Williams Lake.
The Ripple Rock Trail, located about 16 km north of Campbell River, falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests.
A local recreation officer visited the site of the fatality on Wednesday and “confirmed that portion of the trail is safe,” said Dawn Makarowski, a spokesperson for the ministry.
She said the trail was last assessed in March, including for danger trees, and “at that time, the tree in question did not seem to pose a hazard,” she said.
Makarowski stressed the importance of public safety and said trails are “regularly checked for safety hazards.” She also noted that trail users should “always be aware of their surroundings and report any safety concerns.”
She extended her sympathies to the friends and family of the victim of Tuesday’s accident.
It remains unclear what caused the tree to fall.