As It Happens

Arborist killed by tree in Ontario windstorm remembered as 'the best kind of friend'

Adam Sura, who was killed in last week's southern Ontario windstorm, is being remembered as a fun-loving "goofball" who loved hip-hop and made friends easily.

Friend questions why Adam Sura, 28, was sent by his employer to clear trees amid raging winds

Adam Sura, centre, died after being struck by tree during a windstorm in Milton, Ont., on Friday. He is pictured here with his friends Nolan Weston, left, and Cal Cockburn, right. (Submitted by Jay Stewart )

Adam Sura, 28, is being remembered as a fun-loving "goofball" who loved hip-hop and made friends easily.

The young arborist and his colleague Zach Plater, 18, were clearing trees from power lines in Milton, Ont., on Friday, when an intense windstorm hit southern Ontario and a tree fell on them.

Sura died at the scene. Plater died in hospital the next day.

Sura's obituary describes him as "a gentle soul with a heart of gold who spread and shared love with everyone whose path he crossed."

Jay Stewart, Sura's friend and bandmate, spoke to As It Happen guest host Helen Mann about how Sura's loved ones are coping with their loss.

Here is part of that conversation. 

What have you been thinking the last few days about Adam and the circumstances around his death?

I mean, aside from being a huge tragedy and a huge blow to our entire friend group ...[I'm] thinking about what he would do if he were in my shoes and just kind of keep going.

Keep trucking through the way that Adam would do it.

What do you think he'd want you to do?

I think he would want everybody to be as strong as possible. I mean, that's also kind of cliché, but whatever.

He was just a strong and happy dude and that's how everybody's trying to hold themselves up right now.

Sura, left, is pictured here with his friend Devon Webster Reid. Sura died Friday when a tree fell on him during a windstorm in Milton, Ont. (Submitted by Devon Webster Reid)

What do you know about the circumstances around this accident?

I know that it was really, really windy and that it was just unfortunate that they were even out there.

Do you have any sense of precautions he might have taken in doing his job?

He was all about every sort of safety protocol that anybody could take. He was just like that. He was a stickler for the rules.

He was smart. He understood that is a very dangerous profession to choose.

Do you have any ideas of why he would be out there when the wind was so high?

I don't know what the rule is for that.

There was times where, like, it would be just bad weather and he wouldn't go to work because the weather was too bad.

I think that should have been one of the times for sure.

[Editor's Note: As It Happens has reached out to Sura's employer Miller Tree for comment.]

Sura, second from the left, and Jay Stewart, second from the right, are pictured with their band Skeleton Krew. (Submitted by Jay Stewart)

How did you and Adam meet?

Adam and I met working an in-between job at a warehouse in Guelph. The same with everybody else that he meets, we were just, like, best friends instantly.

I found out that he was into hip-hop music, and I was also ... just getting into hip-hop music and he was really good.

And we just bonded over that instantly and formed the rap group with a couple of our other buddies.

What was it like making music with someone that was your best friend?

Writing music is already a cathartic experience but when you get to do it with somebody who's just on your wavelength, like, that's totally different.

Adam had so much energy to give.

So he would encourage us to get better because we're like, "Oh man, I can't believe you wrote that. That was sick."

Sura, 28, was a hip-hop musician. (Submitted by Jay Stewart )

Did you have plans to continue?

Definitely. I have six beats that I was going to give him for his new project and I never even got to show them to him.

You've been talking with your other friends and I understand you've also spoken with some of Adam's family. How is everybody doing right now?

Everybody's dealing with it differently, but everybody's .... channeling a little bit of Adam.

When we all got together on Sunday there were a lot more smiles than I had anticipated to walk into the room to see.

I assume you're sharing happy stories about Adam? 

Oh yeah, yeah. We've got this giant group message going on and it's just videos of Adam being a goofball and it's really helpful.

It sounds like he was a great guy and a great friend.

He was. He was the best guy and the best kind of friend that anybody could ever have.

Written by Sheena Goodyear and Sarah Jackson. Interview produced by Katie Geleff. Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.