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Police probing Victoria man’s death after visit to Richmond trampoline park

VANCOUVER — Witnesses to a fatal accident at a trampoline park in Richmond say they were left shocked by inadequate safety measures at the business.
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Jay Greenwood, 46, died Saturday after sustaining a fatal injury during a fall at Richmond's Extreme Air Park.

VANCOUVER — Witnesses to a fatal accident at a trampoline park in Richmond say they were left shocked by inadequate safety measures at the business.

Jay Greenwood, 46, died following a fatal injury he sustained Saturday during a fall at the Extreme Air Park at 14380 Triangle Rd. He was playing at the park with his two young daughters at the time. His sister, Adrienne, confirmed his death on Facebook, posting a photo of Greenwood with one of his girls.

B.C. Emergency Health Services received a call about the fall at 7:14 p.m. and dispatched two ambulances, with the first arriving on scene nine minutes later, spokeswoman Amy Robertson said. Greenwood was transported in critical condition.

Richmond RCMP arrived at the park shortly before 8 p.m., according to a statement. Before Greenwood died, he “was allegedly performing a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest,” Cpl. Dennis Hwang said. Mounties are investigating.

West Vancouver resident Charlie Bouzakis was at the park when Greenwood fell.

“[There was] no supervision whatsoever, no instruction prior to going in, nothing,” Bouzakis said. “It wasn’t very comfortable because kids were jumping on top of kids, kids were staying in the pits. It was just pure chaos.”

Bouzakis said he noticed Greenwood playing with his two daughters and they acknowledged one another. Later, his own daughter alerted him when she saw one of Greenwood’s girls at the park’s front desk, pleading for help from a staff member.

“His daughter’s at the front desk screaming and crying: ‘My dad’s stuck and he’s not breathing.’ And the front-desk attendant said: ‘One moment. I’m just checking in these customers. I’ll be with you after that,’ ” Bouzakis said.

Bouzakis said when staff didn’t respond immediately, he went to check on Greenwood and found him not moving. Children to play nearby with no staff in sight.

“I’m screaming: ‘Did anyone call 911? What’s going on?’ I jumped into the pit, I run there and everyone’s still there. I pull him up, he’s down there, completely blue-white face,” Bouzakis said.

As they waited for paramedics, staff allowed children to remain in the area where Greenwood lay, and continued to check in new customers, Bouzakis said. He said it seemed as though there was no protocol in place to handle the emergency.

Vanessa Vermaas, 35, of Vancouver was checking into the park Saturday with her sister and four friends when they found Greenwood’s elder daughter pleading with staff to help her father.

“I guess she’d been trying to get their attention for quite a while and they weren’t listening to her,” she said.

Vermaas said her group called 911 before escorting children away from the foam pit where Greenwood had apparently sustained a “severe neck injury.” They asked staff to turn off video monitors in the waiting area that were broadcasting images of the injured man.

She said she felt bad for the trampoline park’s three staff, who appeared to be in their teens or early 20s and seemed unprepared to respond to such an injury. One staffer told Vermaas that none of them had first-aid training.

Two older men, apparently owners or managers, arrived later when customers were giving police their statements, Vermaas said. One of them tried to rearrange the foam pit where Greenwood had fallen, but was stopped by paramedics, she said.

Vermaas said she sat with Greenwood’s elder daughter until grandparents came to pick both girls up.

“This girl was just so confident her dad was going to be OK,” Vermaas said. “She showed an immense amount of courage because it was just so traumatizing … You’re told as a kid, if you need something, call 911 and ask for help. She was begging for help and nobody helped.”

Extreme Air Park released an unsigned, emailed statement Wednesday: “As a family entertainment company whose highest priority is the safety of its customers, we are devastated by this incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family involved. At this time we are doing everything we can to assist the authorities and agencies that are looking into this matter.”

The firm also has locations in New Westminster, Langley and Calgary, according to its website. The Richmond location is advertised as “Canada’s Largest Trampoline Park” at 42,000 square feet.

Kris Ayres, who opened the Ginger Bros Burritos food truck with Greenwood in Victoria in 2015, was devastated by news of his friend’s death.

Ayres said he was disturbed by witness reports that Extreme Air Park staff didn’t know how to respond to his friend’s injury.

“Obviously, there has to be a bit of personal accountability,” he said. “For them to not have a clue about what to do — it’s completely unacceptable — and now two little girls have been left without a dad.”

Ayres said he first began working as a carpenter for Greenwood in Victoria five years ago, shortly after moving there from Australia.

“He took me under his wing,” Ayres said. “He was always super happy, really fun-loving and incredibly generous toward me and basically anybody he would come in contact with.”

He described Greenwood as a “cheeky bastard,” with a sharp but good-natured sense of humour. Greenwood adored his partner and two daughters.

“He loved them more than anything in the world,” Ayres said. “He was an incredible father. Even when we were building, basically he’d go to their school just about every day at lunchtime just to spend 10 minutes with them.”

Richmond RCMP are asking anyone with information about the accident to contact investigators at 604-278-1212 or Richmond_Tips@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.