- Our Town
Beloved teacher, wife and mother mourned following Yank's Peak accident
Students, staff and the community of Williams Lake are reeling after a Valentine’s Day sweetheart ride turned tragic Sunday claiming the life of 45-year-old Laura Kaufman Storoschuk.
Robin Storoschuk said he and his wife, Laura, were spending the weekend on a commemorative ride for Brenda Jelley, who passed away last month.
“We went out Saturday with 29 of our really good friends,” Robin said Monday. “It was a 100-mile trip through the Cariboo River and Ghost Lake and then we spent the night at Wells.”
On Saturday evening he said they had a beautiful dinner and dance and awoke Sunday to fresh snow.
“It was so innocent how it happened, just so innocent,” Robin said of the accident. “We were playing in the powder and she hit a snow bank.”
Through his tears, Robin said he never called Laura his wife.
“I called her my life. She lived life to the fullest. She had this T-shirt that said ‘Fear is temporary. Regret is forever.’ That’s going to be on her headstone.”
School District 27 Superintendent Mark Thiessen said Laura was an excellent and well-loved teacher at Lake City Secondary School.
“We were very saddened to hear of her passing yesterday,” Thiessen said Monday. “Our condolences to her family during this very difficult time. As we know that this will also be a difficult time for staff and students, we have put extra supports in place at the school.”
Laura and Robin were together for 27 years and have two daughters, Hannah and Chloe.
Laura was a well-loved science and biology teacher at Lake City Secondary School, and the school’s golf instructor and coach.
LCSS principal Gregg Gaylord said everyone at the school is devastated.
“She was a great teacher but even better person,” Gaylord said. “It’s really tough, there’s a lot of grief but the staff and students are supporting each other.”
Meanwhile, members of the local golfing community are also remembering Laura’s contribution to the sport.
Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club director of golf operations Tyler Brouilette said despite just moving to Williams Lake last season he witnessed the impact Laura had at the course.
“She was very close with a great number of my young staff and a huge contributor to junior development at our club,” Brouilette said. “She volunteered her time selflessly and will be sadly missed.
“She was an amazing golfer and had a swing most men would envy.”
The Williams Lake RCMP said they were notified of the accident at 1:06 p.m. Sunday when a SPOT beacon was set off at Yank’s Peak.
BC Ambulance Service and Central Cariboo Search Rescue were called in and members of CCSAR were dispatched by helicopter.
Two people trained in first aid happened upon the scene and assisted until Laura was flown off the mountain to an awaiting ambulance.
“Unfortunately upon arrival at the hospital, it was determined she had succumbed to her injuries,” said North District Cpl. Dave Tyreman.
Robin said earlier on Sunday in the morning Laura placed a yellow rose in the snow for her friend Brenda Jelley and another friend took a photograph.
“Rick and Brenda were really close friends of ours,” Rob said. “It’s crazy how close things together happen.”