23-year-old man from Kitimat killed in tragic Kelowna crane accident.
Family and friends have identified a 23-year-old man from Kitimat as one of the victims in Monday’s tragic crane collapse in Kelowna.
Cailen Vilness grew up in Kitimat but had been living in Kelowna for the past five years, according to his father Chris Vilness.
“Cailen was a very thoughtful, very caring, extremely happy young man,” he said.
“He worked hard, played hard, and was very outgoing and respectful. Anybody that knew him had nothing but good things and good thoughts for him.”
Vilness says his heart was ripped out when he learned the news about his son.
“It’s indescribable the pain that goes through when you get that news, that your son is not with us anymore.”
Vilness says Cailen had been together with his partner Jaylene for three years. He say they were in the process of purchasing a home together, and he was even about to propose to her.
Caelin also had five siblings – two brothers and three sisters. His father described him as the “glue” of the family.
“It’s going to change the dynamics of how we live, how we operate and how we function, and we’re just going to have to find a way."
Vilness, who is currently in Kelowna, says the past few days have been “an emotional rollercoaster.”
“This morning I woke up at 5:30 and I drove down to the site, and I sat at the site watching them get ready to dismantle this crane and looking at this area where I know my son took his last breath. I sat there for as long as I could,” he said.
“There’s no textbook on how you get through this. You try to find comfort in the stories, you try to find comfort in support you get from family, friends, complete strangers. That’s all you really have at this moment – and the memories that we have with Cailen – to push on.”
The Living Faith Church in Kelowna has set up a GoFundMe page for Cailen’s family to cover any unexpected costs connected to their son’s death. As of Wednesday afternoon, the fundraiser has received over $36,000 from over 400 donors.
GoFundMe pages have also been establish for three other victims in the crane collapse, two of whom were brothers.