More than $26,000 has been raised for the family of a Victoria man who died in a skydiving accident on Sunday.
James Smith is survived by his wife, Marlena, three-year-old daughter Cedar, and eight-month-old son Bodhi.
“James was a professional skydiver and a self-employed carpenter that was well-respected by his peers,” a fundraising web page says. “Although James was able to provide a decent family income, he was not covered by any extra insurance and did not have a ‘rainy day’ fund.
“Marlena [who has been a stay at home mom] and their children are going to need all of the financial and emotional support they can get.”
Contributors to the page left personal comments, including: “Blue skies friend. I take a little comfort knowing you left us doing what you loved.”
Another described James as an “incredibly special person,” as well as an uncle and a friend. “I love him, and it’s important to me that his wife and children are taken care of in every way possible,” the message said.
By Thursday evening, $26, 185 had been raised, surpassing the initial goal of $20,000.
The accident happened in Nanoose Bay, where Skydive Vancouver Island is located.
Company owner Gord Gauvin said Smith’s death has been hard on the Island’s tight-knit skydiving community.
He said Smith was very experienced, with more than 1,000 skydives, and was also a coach and instructor.
The Canadian Sport Parachuting Association is investigating.
The fundraiser is online at gofundme.com/f/the-james-smith-legacy-family-fund