Hang glider pilot accused of ‘swallowing evidence’ after tourist’s death

Eric Pfeiffer

Lenami Godinez-Avila, 27, was celebrating an anniversary with her boyfriend by taking a hang gliding trip in Canada on Saturday, April 29.

But something went horribly wrong when Godinez-Avila fell from the glider, dropping nearly 1,000 feet to her death.

And now the story has taken an even stranger twist as the hang glider pilot is accused of swallowing a computer memory card that may have contained video of the accident.

Court documents accuse William (Jon) Orders, 50, of attempting to obstruct justice by swallowing the memory card that may have been part of a camera attached to the glider during the flight.

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

Orders himself is an accomplished hang glider, having flown for over 16 years and been a member of the 2007 Canadian National Hang Gliding Team. According to his company's website, Vancouver Hang Gliding, in 2006 he placed second in the Canadian Nationals.

The company website also touts its video-recording options, stating: "Photos and video are available using a specially mounted camera pole that captures you, your pilot and the amazing scenery around you."

Canadian authorities have refused to publicly comment on the "unusual move" of holding Orders in jail in conjunction with the charge. Orders is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for a hearing in the case.

The CBC say there is a chance the alleged video footage could survive if the memory card is "recovered" from Orders.

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