Kiwi guide Lewis Ainsworth involved in fatal Canadian helicopter crash dies

A New Zealand ski guide who was critically injured after a serious helicopter crash in Canada last week has died. 

Three others, two who have been named as Italian tourists, were killed when the ski helicopter crashed into the top of a mountain near the city of Terrace on January 22. 

Thirty-three-year-old Lewis Ainsworth is now the fourth person to have died in the crash. 

Lewis is the son of Marney Ainsworth and Joe Tonner, partner to Sarah, and father to a 10-year-old daughter.  

In a statement on behalf of his family on Monday, they said they are heartbroken following his death. 

"Lewis was tragically involved in a serious helicopter accident in British Columbia, Canada. Lewis, president of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association and IFMGA mountain guide was onboard the helicopter in his professional capacity as a heli-ski guide for Northern Escape Heli-Ski," the statement read.

"Lewis is a highly respected member of the New Zealand and international mountaineering and skiing community."

Lewis Ainsworth has died after suffering critical injuries from the ski-helicopter crash.
Lewis Ainsworth has died after suffering critical injuries from the ski-helicopter crash. Photo credit: Supplied

Lewis had previously worked as a mountain guide for Alpine Guides Aoraki Mt Cook, the Aoraki / Mount Cook Search and Rescue team, as a ski patroller, an avalanche forecaster, and a hard ice glacier guide, the statement said.

The cause of the helicopter crash remains unknown and is the subject of an investigation being carried out by The Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

"Lewis' family would like to thank all who have been involved in the search and rescue operation and medical care of Lewis over the past week," the statement acknowledged.  

"He is loved by many and will be dearly missed by all those who have been fortunate enough to know Lewis and have shared in his passion for being in the mountains."