A 15-year-old Abbotsford girl was killed Saturday in a skiing accident at Manning Park.
The incident was confirmed by a park manager Monday afternoon and later in the day by Princeton RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy.
Kennedy said Catherine Schoeman was skiing at the park with a 73-member church group when they were on the first run of the day just before 9:30 a.m.
He said that witnesses reported that Catherine was “initially going quite slow, then veered off the slope and out of bounds.”
He said it appears that the teen ran into several trees.
Local ski patrol provided first aid until paramedics arrived, but Schoeman was pronounced dead on the scene just after 11 a.m.
The BC Coroners Service is now investigating the incident.
Catherine’s father Jack Schoeman is the pastor of Emmanuel Free Reformed Church in Abbotsford.
Numerous condolences posted on a Facebook page, “Remembering Catherine Schoeman,” describe Catherine as a sweet girl who always had a smile on her face and who was gracious, kind, bubbly and friendly.
“What a bright cheerful girl she was! Such a compassionate character that loved to help others,” read one post.
Read another: “I don’t think I’ve seen her once without a big smile on her face – her and her big heart are already being missed greatly.”
Catherine is survived by her parents, Jack and Susan, and five siblings. The family lived in Ontario before Jack became the pastor at Emmanuel Free Reformed Church in January 2015.
Her family says that Catherine “loved the Lord.”
Her funeral will be held Saturday, Feb. 4 at 9:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Free Reformed Church, 3366 Mt. Lehman Rd., with overflow live streaming at the Heritage Alliance Church next door.
Visitation will be at the same location on Friday, Feb. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
– with files from the Similkameen Spotlight