Jean du Toit, a film veteran in Manitoba, dies in skydiving accident

Jean du Toit, a film veteran in Manitoba, dies in skydiving accident 

Manitoba RCMP are currently investigating the death of a 53-year-old woman who died on Saturday in a skydiving accident in Gimli.

 

Jean du Toit was born in South Africa, but came to Canada as a student in 1987. After finishing her degree back home, du Toit decided to return to Canada and became a citizen, her father told CTV news.

It was during this time that she became rooted in Manitoba’s film industry, a tight-knit community that is now in mourning.

 

Manitoba Film and Music, a government funder that supports artists in the province, said it still coming to terms with the devastating accident that took du Toit’s life, one that was filled with support and advocacy for the film and TV industry in Manitoba.

 

The Directors Guild of Canada confirmed du Toit was a good-standing member of the Manitoba District Council, calling her, “a meaningful contributor to the strength and growth of the Manitoba film community.”

Many in the film community have also taken to social media to share tributes to du Toit, describing her as ‘a bright light in many of our lives,’ and ‘always caring and selfless.’

 

Her father told CTV News he plans to come to Manitoba to finalize her affairs and arrange a funeral for his daughter.

 

The accident itself is still a mystery. Manitoba RCMP said du Toit was a very experienced skydiver and had been wearing all the appropriate safety gear. There were no issues with the plane, and there were three other people on board at the time.

When she jumped, RCMP said her parachute appeared to open at the proper altitude. However, she entered a spin and hit the ground.

She was pronounced dead on the scene.

 

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health told CTV News it will be following up to confirm details and determine if the incident falls within its jurisdiction for further review.

 

Shared Health told CTV News it received the call shortly at 7:11 p.m. on June 4 and was dispatched two minutes later. However, the nearest ambulance had to travel from an area northeast of Selkirk and arrived at 7:47 p.m. – a total of 36 minutes after the call was made.

 

Questions and concerns are being asked around the length of time it took the ambulance to arrive at the scene. 36 minutes after the call was made, the ambulance arrived. Shared Health said one ambulance in Gimli was out of service at the time, while another one was responding to a call in Eriksdale at the time. Service delays are primarily to blame on staffing issues, as many healthcare staff are out sick themselves.

 

Shared Health is tackling on the staffing problems and expresses sympathies to the family and friends of du Toit for their loss.

 

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