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Sheldon Johnson, 50, was killed at western Quebec resort on July 16
Dan Taekema · CBC News · Posted: Jul 18, 2023 3:44 PM EDT
The family of a Kingston, Ont., man who was killed in an incident involving a gondola at Mont-Tremblant, Que., over the weekend say he was a loving father and member of the Canadian Armed Forces who spent decades serving his country.
Sgt. Sheldon Johnson was thrown from a gondola when it was struck by a drilling machine at the resort on Sunday, according to Quebec provincial police.
An Ottawa woman, identified by one of her relatives as Marichu Gadong-Gleyo, was riding in the gondola with Johnson at the time. She was taken to hospital in critical condition.
In a written statement to reporters Tuesday, Johnson's family described the 50-year-old as a loving father to three children — one "angel in heaven he is now cuddling," and two surviving children "who are missing him terribly."
Johnson was devoted to his family, "a caring, wonderful brother," and a sergeant in the military who always thought of others before himself, the statement added.
"His life was cut way too short, he had so much more love to give. He will be truly missed."
20 years of serviceCanadian Armed Forces public affairs officer Capt. Matt Zalot said Tuesday that Johnson was a vehicle technician who helped maintain equipment for 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment.
The regiment is a unit of the Canadian Combat Support Brigade based in Kingston — which is part of 5th Canadian Division — and provides tactical electronic warfare support during international operations.
"It is with a heavy heart that we confirm that the individual killed is a member of 5th Canadian Division ... with 20 years of service to Canada," a statement issued by the division Tuesday said.
It's doing what it can to support Johnson's family "during this exceedingly difficult time," and the statement added he will be "sorely missed."
The division offered its condolences to his family, friends and teammates.
Investigations continueQuebec provincial police previously told CBC they didn't know why the drilling machine was in operation or under the gondola. The service said it is not ruling out criminal negligence.
"There's a part of the gondola that was ripped off and the people had no chance at all, they just fell on the ground at several metres, hitting hard on the ground," said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Éric Cadotte.
A company called Forage M2P inc. released a statement Monday evening confirming that the incident involved one of its employees who was operating the drilling machine. They said he was treated for shock in hospital
Company president Maxime Patry offered his condolences to Johnson's family. He said there would be no further comment to respect the ongoing police investigation as well as an investigation launched by Quebec's workplace safety board.