Man dies from injuries sustained in logging accident on northern Vancouver Island

A man who was seriously injured at a logging worksite south of Woss two weeks ago has died in hospital.

Lonnie Hryhroka, 46, was injured in a workplace accident on April 13 and was airlifted to North Island Hospital in Campbell River.

The United Steelworkers Union says it happened near Vernon Camp south of Woss, while Hryhroka was working for Holbrook Dyson Logging.

“Everything’s still under investigation because it was WCB but yeah we thought he was doing good, it was really a shock to everyone and the whole family is devastated, both sides, it’s horrible,” Hryhroka’s brother in law Kyle Labby told CHEK News Wednesday.

Details about the nature of the accident are not yet known, but Hryhroka was admitted into hospital with severe injuries including broken bones in his spine, according to a GoFundMe page launched while he was still fighting for his life in hospital.

In a post on her Facebook page, Hryhroka’s wife Barbara Paige Labbey says the GoFundMe will be used to support her through the loss of her husband.

“He will be missed by all who love him so much. He was a gentleman in a true sense of the word. RIP our beautiful angel,” she wrote.

Kyle Labbey said Hryhroka had been working in the logging industry his entire life.

“He loved the outdoors, was a fisherman, yeah he loved being outside and loved the industry,” said Labbey.

It is the latest death in an industry that is consistently one of the deadliest in Canada.

Earlier this month a helicopter pilot engaged in logging activity was killed near Sayward. 50-year-old Brent Fedirchuk of Port Alberni died in the crash.

Sadly, Thursday is Canada’s National Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill on the job.

The United Steelworkers says it appears he received almost immediate care after the accident.

“From what I understand there was help there, first aid was administered, they had a helicopter come and flew him to the hospital so it sounded like quick and good care,” said Jason Cox, USW Local 1-1937 Business Agent.

“He was a good guy, a really good guy. A lot of integrity and as I said earlier if someone needed help, even if they didn’t ask he was in there like a dirty shirt to get things done, really a smart dude and really a quality person,” added Labbey.

Hyrhroka leaves behind his wife and two stepdaughters.

Worksafe BC confirmed it has been notified of the fatal workplace incident and is now investigating “to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future.”

The BC Coroner’s Service is also investigating.

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