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Tributes paid to Winchester teenager at opening of ski death inquest
11:19am Monday 6th January 2014 in News
A HAMPSHIRE teenager died after suffering multiple injuries in a ski accident in Austria, an inquest has heard.
Winchester College student Cameron Bespolka, 16, died of multiple injuries on December 17 after he, his father and a ski guide were engulfed in snow in the resort of Lech am Arlberg, Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short, was told.
The avalanche swept Cameron, his father Kevin, 51, and the guide 150 metres down the mountain leaving Cameron’s triplet brother Nicholas, who had been skiing a short distance behind, watching from the top.
The three were thought to have been skiing off-piste.
It is understood the family has now returned home to Winchester after Mr Bespolka was released from intensive care, where he was being treated for knee and leg injuries.
Nicholas was treated for shock.
Mr Short adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.
Police have confirmed the ski instructor is being investigated on charges of “negligence leading to serious injury with fatal consequences” as the route the group had taken was not an authorised one.
They added that all those in the group had safety equipment, including an avalanche airbag backpack, probes and shovels.
Caring Cameron’s mother, Corinne Bespolka, 53, the boys’ triplet sister Megan and 12-year-old sister Sienna, are believed to have been at their hotel when the accident happened.
No-one from Cameron’s family wished to make a statement at this time.
The headmaster of Winchester College, Ralph Townsend, described Cameron as “popular with staff and pupils alike. Patient and caring, he put people immediately at their ease. He also had an impish and dry sense of humour.”
Cameron’s interests included bird watching, tennis and crosscountry running.
Paying tribute, the Official Blog of Next Generation Birders (NGB), said: “Always quick with a joke or witty retort, Cameron became well known within NGB thanks to his dedicated patching, love of the south coast and inability to twitch a nearby semipalmated sandpiper as he was “pressing apples”!
“Frequent updates from Cameron on the state of birding on his patch (Winchester Sewage Farm) quickly showed him for the die-hard patcher he was and many of us were impressed with his amassed total, but especially his enthusiasm for birding simply for the joy of birding itself.”
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