Kitimat community rallies to help family of son who died in Kelowna crane collapse

Cailen Vilness, 23, lost his life in the crane collapse that occurred in Kelowna, July 12, 2021

Everton and Tracy Weekes and Living Faith Church have set up a GoFundMe page for the Pritchett/Vilness/Braham families in recognition of Kitimat local, Cailen Vilness, 23, one of the five men who died in the crane collapse that occurred in Kelowna on Monday, July 12.

The fundraiser is to help the family cover the costs of the funeral, lost wages, travel, and any other expenses the family may have.

Jason and Sara Besler, family friends of Cailen’s parents, also collected cards from the community showing their love and support and are heading down to Kelowna to give them to the family.

READ MORE: 5th victim from Kelowna crane collapse identified

Cailen’s family is from Kitimat and following the news of the deadly crane collapse, rushed to Kelowna as soon as possible. Anyone wanting to contribute in any way is asked to contact Deanna Baldo or Jane Mcllwrath through Facebook.

“Cailen lived life to the fullest and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his family, including his parents Chris (stepmom Hayley) and Danielle, girlfriend Jaydean whom he was about to propose to, brothers Layne and Declan, sisters Kharis, Ana, and Madelyn, and his dog Ellie along with many longtime friends,” stated Everton Weekes, organizer for the GoFundMe.

The crane fell about 11 a.m. Monday, as crews were working to dismantle it. The fall caused significant damage to surrounding buildings, including a seniors’ home, prompting RCMP to evacuate much of the area. The City of Kelowna called a local state of emergency shortly after the incident.

Mission Group has made grief counselling available to workers who were on-site at the time of the incident.

READ MORE: Deadly Kelowna crane collapse sparks calls for mandatory training, certification for operators


City of KelownaKelowna Crane Collapse