Family and friends have identified the child killed near Camp Barnard on Wednesday as Tai Caverhill.
“It’s really hard for the family to accept the loss accepting that Tai is no longer there is definitely a tragic and a huge loss for the family,” said family spokesperson Aoy Broome.
Officials confirmed on Wednesday that a 13-year-old was killed following a “freak accident“. Emergency crews responded around 3:17 p.m. to an area near Camp Barnard in Sooke following reports of a person trapped under a tree.
The Greater Victoria School District later confirmed that the student was from Lansdowne Middle School. Students were brought back following the tragic incident and the Critical Incident Response Team was deployed to help them during the difficult time.
Tai’s dad Graham Caverhill told CHEK News police told him Tai was walking along in the forest with friends when he spotted a falling tree and alerted them to run away — but that he wasn’t able to escape in time to save himself.
He goes on to say Tai always had a lot of friends, describing a time when he dropped him off at elementary school and the whole schoolyard came up to hug him. Broome, who has known Tai since he was a baby, says he was a very kind and loving person who always put other people’s needs above his own.
Even as he left for camp Barnard Broome says he just wanted to make sure his family was okay.
“He just said take care of dad and Lanna for me,” said Broome.
Tai’s ten-year-old sister Lanna was born with Tuberous Sclerosis and had brain surgery in 2018. Tai had recently started a part-time job to help out.
“When he turned 13 he asked his mom if he could work to earn some extra income to help with the family,” said Broome.
“He wanted to take care of all of his expenses.”
A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $10,000. Half the proceeds will go helping the family, while the other half will be going to Tuberous Sclerosis Canada to “honor Tai’s kind heart”
The fundraiser was started Saturday by the Thai Kids Club of Victoria, with permission of the family.
Tai was just finishing up Grade 8 when he was killed. The organization says he was one of the very first students at Thai Kids Club and was a big brother who helped take care of younger children.
The page can be found here
Sunday his family and friends gathered to celebrate Tai in a traditional Buddhist service. Tai who’s full name is Tainada is of both Thai and Canadian descent.
A westernized service will be held next week.