CHILLIWACK, B.C. – The man accused of criminal negligence causing death and obstruction of justice in connection with the hang-gliding death of a B.C. woman has pleaded not guilty.
Pilot William Orders made the plea Monday at an arraignment hearing in provincial court in Chilliwack, B.C.
“It’s a complicated case, a serious case,” Orders’ lawyer, Jeff Campbell, told reporters outside the court.
Campbell said his client now will be preparing for his six-day trial set for Oct. 22.
Orders, 50, was charged earlier this year with criminal negligence causing the death of 27-year-old Lenami Godinez-Avila, who fell about 300 meters moments after taking off from a mountain top during a tandem flight piloted by Orders.
She fell to her death on April 28 last year.
It took searchers about eight hours to find her body on a mountain side in the Fraser Valley.
Orders was charged with obstruction for allegedly swallowing the memory card from his camera after the woman fell. He was held in custody until police recovered the memory card.
Orders earlier apologized to the Mexican student’s family, saying he wouldn’t return to hang gliding. He said he was sincerely and deeply sorry, adding he wished the day would have turned out differently.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Orders’ trial was to start Oct. 13.