Avalanche kills central Pa.  brothers, prominent business owners during Canadian ski trip

Two family members of one of central Pennsylvania’s most prominent construction and real estate development companies died Monday during a guided heli-ski trip in western Canada.

Brothers Timothy and Jonathan Kinsley were near Mount McCrae, in British Columbia, with a heli-skiing guide when the avalanche struck and buried them in snow, according to CTV News in Vancouver.

The three men were airlifted to Kelowna, British Columbia, and rushed to the hospital, but the Kinsleys could not be saved. Their guide, an employee of CMH Heli-Skiing, remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition.

A spokesperson with Kinsley Enterprises confirmed the deaths Tuesday.

Tim Kinsley was the president of Kinsley Properties. He served in the company’s real estate and construction business for 40 years after graduating from Colorado State University in 1988.

In addition to his services with the Kinsley company, he was second vice chair of the York County Community Foundation board, chairman of the foundation’s YorkCounts committee and a member of the executive committee of Better York.

Jon Kinsley was affiliated with Kinsley Construction for 36 years, including 26 years as president and three as president and CEO. He was an executive at Kinsley Enterprises. A 1985 Widener University graduate, he was instrumental in Kinsley Construction’s development into one of the region’s top construction management and contracting firms.

Former Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement that the “Kinsley family has been a pillar in York County. Tim and Jon gave generously to many causes to better the community.”

US Rep. Scott Perry wrote in a Facebook post that he was “heartbroken” by the news. “It is absolutely impossible to put words to this, but please join me in sending love, strength, and prayers to their families, colleagues, and friends as they celebrate their lives and mourn their deaths. RIP, gentlemen, you will be deeply missed.”

The avalanche left two of the heli-skiers fully buried and the third partially buried, CTV News reported, citing CMH Heli-Skiing. The group had transceivers that helped crews to locate them in the aftermath of the slide.

The incident followed several other fatal avalanches recorded across the province in recent weeks, according to CTV News, prompted by a fragile snowpack resulting from last year’s historic drought then record-breaking winter storms.

Authorities said they would conduct a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Kinsleys’ deaths.

Heli-skiing is off-trail, downhill skiing that is accessed by a helicopter. It started in Canada in the mid-1960s when Austrian transplant Hans Gmoser opened Canadian Mountain Holidays, still in operation today, and has spread across the globe since then, according to a Men’s Journal story.

Kinsley Enterprises is a management company that oversees the business assets of the Kinsley family.

One of those assets is Kinsley Construction Inc., which began in 1963 as a small concrete subcontractor. Today, the company is a nationally recognized construction firm that delivers comprehensive services for clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, according to its website.

Robert A. Kinsley founded the firm. It is estimated to generate $584.7 million in annual revenues, and employs approximately 1,300, according to buzzfile.com. When he died in June 2020, the York Daily Record assembled this list from the family of many of Kinsley’s legacy projects.

In 2017, York College created the Kinsley School of Engineering, Science and Technology after a $5.5 million gift commitment from the family.


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