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Yellowknife trucking pioneer reported among avalanche dead

A former director of Yellowknife-based trucking company RTL is reported to have passed away in an avalanche at the end of January.

Ricky Robinson and four other men were said to have been trapped when a shelf of snow fell from Mount Renshaw, near McBride, British Columbia. All five lost their lives.

The 55-year-old, who lived in Spruce Grove, Alberta, had previously led RTL Robinson Enterprises alongside brothers Donnie and Marvin.

RTL Robinson Enterprises was first founded by the Robinson family in 1968 and is now part of the larger RTL-Westcan group of companies.

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From its headquarters in Yellowknife, the business became a leader in the development of northern ice road trucking. Today’s Trucking, in reporting Robinson’s death, called the company “the largest and most successful ice road trucking company in the world”.

The BC Coroner’s Service said 49-year-old John Harold Garley, 52-year-old Vincent Eugene Loewen, 41-year-old Tony Christopher Greenwood and 47-year-old Todd William Chisholm were also killed in the avalanche.

The five all lived in Alberta. Officials said they had been one of four snowmobile parties in the area at the time of the incident on January 29.

Coroner Barb McLintock told journalists an investigation will examine the factors contributing to the avalanche and whether anything could have been done differently to avoid the tragedy.

A celebration of Ricky’s life will reportedly be held at the Heritage Park in Stony Plain, Alberta, on Friday at 2pm.

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