The mother of one of the four construction workers killed in a 2021 crane accident in Kelowna, B.C., will speak Thursday at an event honouring lives lost during workplace injuries.
Danielle Pritchett, the mother of Cailen Vilness, will be speaking about occupational safety, especially for young people, at the annual National Day of Mourning, which is being held in Kelowna’s Ben Lee Park.
Vilness was one of the four young construction workers killed on July 12, 2021, when the top portion of a crane — attached to a high-rise building — collapsed while it was being dismantled, slamming into an adjacent building. Another man was killed in a nearby building.
The Kitimat, B.C., native moved to Kelowna to pursue career opportunities in the construction sector, a family trade.
Every year, on April 28, workers, families, employers, and many others get together to observe the National Day of Mourning and the ceremony will run from noon to 1 p.m.
In addition to Pritchett, there will be speakers from WorkSafe BC, the City of Kelowna and the North Okanagan Labour Council, as well as anyone else who wishes to speak in honour of a loved one who was injured or died on the job.
“Over the past two years, we have lost friends, colleagues and family members to the pandemic, many of whom got sick at work. Others are still dealing with the effects of long-COVID,” the press release reads.
“While we look forward to gathering together in their honour, we ask everyone in attendance to respect local health guidelines and gather safely.”