Father recalls Regina's Kelly Parisien as leader, fun-loving after death in B.C.
Kelly Parisien was a leader for his many friends and loved having fun. That is how his father wants his son to be remembered after his life was cut short falling off a waterfall in B.C.
The 23-year-old teacher was on an early morning hike, vacationing with his friends on a houseboat on the Shushwapp when he slipped off the edge and into the river.
His father Trevor says the family is still devastated after learning about their son's death while on vacation.
He describes Kelly as very popular and everyone who met him seemed to like him. Messages of grief are pouring in on twitter for the young man.
"He has friends in every genre and every segment in the city, it seems like everyone knows him and has been impacted by him," Parisien said.
He added that the friends he was with drove all night to be with his family and tell them what happened in person. One friend even broke his leg jumping off the houseboat to get Kelly out of the water when he saw him fall. By the time they got him out it was too late, because he died of a head injury.
Parisien is still in shock thinking about his son, who wouldn't have thought he was in danger before he slipped on mossy wet rock and into the waters below.
"He's got the world ahead of him, bright kid, ready to go and all of a sudden in the blink of an eye, an accidental slip and fall, a tragic injury and he's gone," Parisien said.
After two years of substitute teaching, his son had just been given a full-time teaching contract for WH Ford elementary school in the fall. He was even set to move out of his parent's house to a condo in just two weeks.
Parisien and his other son just returned from Kamloops, B.C. to make arrangements to bring Kelly's body home, an experience he describes as being like a bad dream.
"As your son you never think he's going to go before you," he said.
Growing up, Kelly went to Riffel High School and played hockey, then learned to skateboard, wakeboard and even surf.
"He was a pretty accomplished skateboarder and instrumental in designing the skate park behind Riffel," his father said.
RCMP reports from the scene say he had passed by two warning barriers to take a picture on the edge of the waterfall.
To his family and friends, Kelly's death was a tragic, freak accident. His father says his son wasn't a risk-taker and was very strong and athletic.
"I don't think he was adventurous as much as he was a leader. He wanted everybody to have fun," Parisien explained.
Kelly was so well-known and well liked his friends are even planning a fundraiser to help pay for a very large funeral service.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.