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Canadian country star pays tribute to cousin killed in Kelowna crane collapse

Aaron Pritchett described Cailen Vilness as a ‘prince of a man’
Cailen is pictured here with his girlfriend Jaydean. He was planning to propose to her before he was killed in a crane collapse in Kelowna. (GoFundMe)

A Canadian country singer is mourning his cousin who died during a crane collapse in Kelowna on July 12.

Vancouver-born Aaron Pritchett described his cousin Cailen Vilness as a sweet, kind, honourable and loving young man.

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“Every time I happened to be in Kelowna, Cailen would drop everything to visit,” Pritchett wrote in a social media post.

“His infectious smile and laugh, sense of kindness and care warmed my heart and anyone he met. He truly was a prince of a man, and all who met him would say the same about Cailen.”

Pritchett said Cailen may have passed away young, but the impact he has had on other peoples’ lives is immense.

“Some people are put on earth as angels. To be a light for those who need positivity, happiness and boost your will to live.

“Cailen was one of those people.”

Cailen is survived by his parents Chris and Danielle, brothers Layne and Declan and sisters Kharis, Ana and Madelyn.

Pritchett is asking people to donate to the fundraising campaign set up in honour of Cailen, which will cover his funeral costs and support his family.


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Twila Amato

About the Author: Twila Amato

Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University.
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