Friends raise money for family of Oak Bay dad who died while mountain biking

Friends are rallying around the family of a 49-year-old father of two from Oak Bay who died Friday while mountain biking on a Shawnigan Lake trail.

“Our community is devastated by the sudden loss of our dear friend Hugh,” says an online fundraising page created for the family of Hugh Thompson. “While Hugh died doing what he loved, he was far too young to be taken from his family or our community.”

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The fundraising effort is aimed at helping his wife, Paige, and sons Avery, 12, and four-year-old Kaito.

Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties said via Twitter that Thompson was a very close friend.

“He was the dad the rest of us dream of being and we are heartbroken,” Bernoties said.

The GoFundMe page had raised nearly $31,000 by Monday evening. Donations will go toward a ­scholarship for Avery and Kaito.

>, search for In Loving Memory of Hugh Thompson, organized by Jaymie Humber

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