22-year-old who died on Montreal's Old Port Ferris wheel was 'always in a good mood'
Riley Jonathan Valcin was 'always calm and in a good mood,' says friend
Riley Jonathan Valcin has been identified as the 22-year-old employee who died while working on Montreal's Old Port Ferris wheel, Christmas Day.
According to Nicolas Bégin, a spokesperson for Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), Valcin was clearing snow from the Ferris wheel at the time of the accident. Bégin added that the Ferris wheel will not be accessible until the employer finds a safe procedure for removing snow.
Montreal police were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Saturday following reports of an injury. Valcin was taken to hospital in critical condition but later died of his injuries.
Mamadou Dieye worked with Valcin at the Ferris wheel over the summer and said the two became close friends.
"He genuinely was just always calm and in a good mood," Dieye said in a phone interview. "You could never be in a bad mood around Riley."
Dieye said he, Valcin and other friends would often hang out after work and said Valcin had a keen sense of fashion and was an adept dancer.
"He was the one who worked there the longest… and he was always working, but he always had time to bring your spirits up."
Montréal-Nord's Mayor and the principal of Valcin's CEGEP, Collège de Bois-De-Boulogne, shared their condolences over Facebook.
"Beyond his death, it is not just a young person from our community who leaves us with all his dreams and aspirations, it is the tragedy of an entire family who will have to learn to continue living without him," wrote Christine Black in French, mayor of Montréal-Nord.
"We are heartbroken by the unjust departure of a young man who made his mark with his courage, commitment and perseverance," Sebastien Piché posted in French on Facebook. Piché also saluted Valin's basketball skills — winning a provincial championship with his team at Henri-Bourassa high school.
A friend of Valcin's set up an online fundraiser to help his family pay for funeral costs. The post also said the funds would help pay for legal fees.
Though the friend did not specify for what kind of legal procedures, several people on social media have raised concerns with how the Ferris wheel's management handled Valcin's death.
With files from Radio-Canada