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Hang-glider death: charges laid against pilot

Woman fell almost 1,000 feet to her death shortly after takeoff.

Lenami godinezEnlarge
Lenami Godinez, 27, died after falling almost 1,000 feet from a hang glider in remote British Columbia. (Facebook)

Police charged a hang-glider pilot with obstruction of justice Monday after his passenger fell almost 1,000 feet to her death on Saturday in remote British Columbia, CBC News reported.

Willam Jonathan Orders, 50, allegedly withheld evidence that could shed light on his role in the tragedy, RCMP said.

“We have the hang-glider; we’ve got all of the hardware that goes with it. We’ll find an expert that will tell us what needs to happen if any of the equipment failed,” Sgt. Mark Pelz said.

Lenami Dafne Godinez, 27, fell shortly after takeoff from Mount Woodside, an area popular with hang gliders 90 minutes east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley, CTV News reported.

Witnesses said something appeared to go wrong almost immediately, and Godinez was gripping the pilot as she slid away during the tandem flight.

More from GlobalPost: Woman dies after fall from tandem hang glider

A man who participated in the search and rescue – which took more than seven hours to find the body – said it didn’t appear she was ever secured to the glider, CTV reported.

“It’s almost certain that she wasn’t hooked in,” Alex Raymont told CTV. “I looked at the harness. I couldn’t see it all ... but it’s almost certain she wasn’t connected at all.”

Godinez moved to Canada from Mexico about nine years ago, the Vancouver Sun reported.

She attended university in B.C. and worked at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Most recently, she’d worked for the provincial environment ministry.

Her boyfriend had purchased the hang-gliding flight as an anniversary gift, and was filming when she fell.

“It’s especially tragic because of who Lenami was,” colleague Michelle Nilson told the Sun. “She was such a diplomatic, sweet and amazing person to work with.”

Orders has 16 years of experience, and has given tandem flights for about three years, CBC said.

He remains in custody until Wednesday when he will hear his charges in court.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/120501/hang-glider-death-charges-laid-against-pilot