News

Nanaimo bird expert killed in crash

A motor vehicle accident has claimed the life of a man well-known in Nanaimo's bird watching community.

Ryan Cathers, 21, organizer of the annual Nanaimo Christmas Bird Count, died in a collision near Westlock, Alta., on the weekend.

Police said Cathers died Saturday at about 4:30 p.m. when the northbound vehicle in which he was collided head-on with a southbound semi tractor-trailer rig on Highway 44 about one kilometre south of Westlock.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Westlock RCMP.

His cousin, Chris Cathers, said Ryan Cathers had recently graduated from Vancouver Island University and had taken a job with a wild bird research organization in Alberta.

Chris Cathers described his cousin as caring, compassionate and the go-to person for birding in Nanaimo.

"The world needed more people like him," Chris Cathers said.

Colin Bartlett, owner of the Nanaimo Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store, said Ryan Cathers worked at the store for three years prior to leaving for Alberta and described his death as tragic.

"He was just up there, what, two weeks," Bartlett said. "It was his first time away from home and it was all new to him. He was a little homesick, but he was having fun."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Traffic safety concerns trustees
 
Exchange student injured in apparent robbery attempt
 
Distilling diversity displayed during annual fundraiser
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
 
High risk offender wanted B.C.-wide, say Vancouver Police
 
Victoria terror suspects more ‘disgruntled’ than political: expert
Flu shot-or-mask rule upheld by arbitrator
 
Chill out in Parksville and Qualicum Beach
 
Crush of kittens

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.