More than $30,000 raised for family of Australian arborist killed in Oak Bay

WorkSafe B.C. continues to investigate the death of a young Australian arborist described in social media posts as a “complete legend of a man.”

Eddie Mather, 27, was working with a crew removing a large Garry oak tree on McNeill Avenue in Oak Bay on Tuesday morning when something went wrong and Mather was killed. Investigations were delayed for several hours because a heavy limb was hung up on overhead power lines.

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On Friday, WorkSafe B.C. said it’s investigating to determine the cause of death and any contributing factors.

On social media, Mather is described as an Aussie climber who lost his life doing what he loved most.

A fundraising page has been created by friends to help Mather’s family bring his body back to Australia. The $30,000 goal was surpassed Friday morning.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we create this page for such a beautiful friend, brother and son,” it says. “Eddie Mather’s unexpected and tragic passing has devastated anyone whose lives he touched. His undeniably positive energy, beaming smile and thirst for life will be forever missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

A memorial with bouquets of flowers, candles, a tiny mason jar filled with carnations, a can of Guinness and a poster with a photograph of Mather has been set up under the Garry oak tree. The driveway is still filled with large pieces of wood from the tree.

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