Fatal hang-glider fall has police seeking key evidence

A B.C. hang-gliding pilot is expected to remain behind bars until he appears in court Wednesday on a charge of withholding key evidence in the weekend death of his passenger.

William Orders, 50, was charged with obstructing justice on Monday after 27-year-old Lenami Godinez fell 300 metres to her death during a tandem hang-glider flight on Saturday.

Orders was arrested after the incident and is expected to appear at a bail hearing in Chilliwack provincial court.

RCMP Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth says Orders is accused of not providing key information.

"It's related to an allegation that he has possibly withheld potential key evidence which could help our investigation. We've been speaking to all the witnesses. Like I say, further interviews may be required but our investigation continues."

Police have already seized the hang glider used in the fatal flight, but say they are still looking for a key piece of evidence.

"At this point, like I say we're hoping that the evidence that we're looking for will help us determine what exactly happened... Yes, we know where the equipment is. ... but we won't be speaking to that."

Hollingsworth says more charges could be laid as the investigation progresses.

Tried to hold passenger

Witnesses said Orders tried desperately to hold on to Godinez as she slipped from his grip and plunged 300 metres to her death about 30 seconds after the launch of the tandem flight.

The pair took off from Mount Woodside, a popular gliding spot and considered one of the safest launch sites in the Fraser Valley for winds and for distances, said Warner.

Godinez's boyfriend had bought her the flight as an anniversary gift and was videotaping her takeoff, but stopped recording just before she fell to her death, said Warner.

Orders, a hang glider with 16 years of experience, became a certified tandem instructor three years ago.