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Chilliwack man dies in freak ATV-related accident

WATCH:  A 48-year-old man was ATVing with a group at Tamihi Creek when he fell off a cliff and died. John Hua explains what lead up to the tragedy and what people need to know to stay safe.

VANCOUVER — A 48-year-old Chilliwack man is dead after an ATV-related accident Sunday.

Family tell Global News Andy Rotzetter was with a group of ATV riders when he tried to help a rider in his group go slowly over a rock on Windy Knob trail. According to Rotzetter’s son, the rider lost control, hit the throttle, and pushed him off a cliff.

Authorities said the driver is cooperating with the investigation. They also said drugs and alcohol were not a factor.

The popular campground for families and ATV enthusiasts was transformed into a staging ground Sunday as search and rescue crews worked to recover the body.

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Those familiar with the backcountry say certain sections can be challenging.

With the long weekend serving as the unofficial kickoff to ATV season, this latest tragedy serves as a sombre reminder to take extra care.

“Be aware of your surroundings and also be aware of your limitations,” said  S. Sgt. Dave Eidet of Upper Fraser Valley RCMP.

An online fundraiser has been set up for the victim’s family.

A celebration of life and memorial service will be held:

  • May 30
  • 1 p.m. at First Avenue Church – 46510 First Avenue, Chilliwack 
  • Reception to follow in the same location. 
  • Everyone is welcome and feel free to bring any food or beverages.

-with files from John Hua and Jon Azpiri