AGASSIZ (NEWS1130) – A 50-year-old man from Burnaby has been charged with obstruction of justice in Saturday’s deadly hang gliding accident near Harrison Mills.
 
William Johnathan Orders was on a tandem flight with a 27-year-old woman when she somehow came loose and fell about a thousand feet. The RCMP says Orders is accused of withholding key evidence in the investigation, but won’t say what that evidence is.

Lenami Godinez had signed up for her first hand gliding ride with her boyfriend on Saturday. Moments after taking off, she fell into a wooded area as her boyfriend looked on.

Search and rescue spent much of Saturday looking for her. At around 7 p.m. they located the pilot’s shoe. Roughly 20 metres away, the crew found Godinez’s body. It’s believed that she grabbed onto the shoe as she fell towards the ground.

The local hang gliding community is shocked by the charges. Jason Warner is the safety director of the Hang Glider and Paraglider Association of Canada.

He says as far as he knows, Orders maintained a good safety record in the past.

“I do know that everybody’s had something that’s happened, maybe a trip here or a pull there, but nothing where anyone has seriously been injured.”

Warner says he spoke to Orders half an hour after the deadly accident and says the pilot appeared remorseful.    

“He was absolutely shocked by the whole thing. When I heard about the charges, I was beside myself.”
   
Warner says he’s not aware if Orders was involved in other accidents in the past.