Tree crushes teenaged golfer in violent storm
Published Sunday, August 12, 2012 12:19PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 13, 2012 10:58AM EDT
Flags were flying at half mast over the Rosemere Golf Club Sunday morning, after the sudden death of a teenaged golfer during Saturday afternoon’s violent storm.
Matthew Salsa, 18, was found dead late Saturday evening after a tree fell on him on the 9th fairway of the golf course in Rosemere. He had been spotted earlier in the evening returning from the 16th hole as winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour swept through the area in a microburst.
"At 5pm we sounded the alarm, because we could see on the radar severe weather," explained Marc Gelinas, general manager of the Rosemere Golf Club. "We had members who saw him walking on (the) 16(th hole) with his umbrella on and keep on playing, but people just by him heard the alarm and they picked up the ball and came back."
Gelinas said no one saw the incident, that ended with mature trees uprooted and snapped in half throughout the course.
"He was alone playing out there... what happened exactly, only God knows," said Gelinas.
When the young man didn’t return home, his parent called police. Police and members of the club searched the ground following the storm and found his body crushed under a tree in the middle of the fairway.
Members of the club were very shaken by the event. The young man and his family were long-time members of the club.
"They are very shaken," said Gelinas."Matthew was a great kid. He was an example for the other juniors."
The incident is the worst event that's occurred in the golf course's 90-year history, said Gelinas. The club will be closed for a week as the damage is cleaned up.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.