Crute autopsy inconclusive

Well-known snowboarder remembered for his friendly, helpful spirit

The cause of local snowboarder and business owner Anthony Crute's death is still a mystery this week after initial autopsy results came back as inconclusive. It will likely be a month before any further information is available.

Crute, who founded and operated Pro Ride Snowboard Camps, died unexpectedly last Tuesday morning (Jan. 20) at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver after a short illness.

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Meanwhile, the Whistler community is still reeling from his sudden passing. Sunday's (Jan. 25) Fire and Ice show was dedicated to Crute and a celebration of life was planned at Dusty's on Wednesday evening (Jan. 28).

Jan MacFayden of the B.C. Coroner's Service said the preliminary autopsy results were inconclusive and further test results such as toxicology and pathology cultures will likely take about a month to come back. The investigation into Crute's death is ongoing, she said.

"There is no cause of death at this time," MacFayden said Friday (Jan. 23). "We won't really know until we are able to get that information back regarding the cultures and the toxicology and try to put it all together."

Though people around town have been talking about the possible role of a crash involving Crute while he was performing in the Fire and Ice show on Jan. 4, so far no medical connection has been established between the fall and his death. Crute's symptoms were mostly gastro-intestinal and flu-like when he went to see a doctor about two weeks after the crash.

After a couple of visits to the Whistler Health Care Centre, Crute was sent to Lions Gate Hospital on Jan. 19 where a whole body scan was inconclusive, though it was apparent his kidneys were starting to fail. He was then taken to St. Paul's, where he died at Jan. 20 at 8:44 a.m., authorities said.

A Whistler Blackcomb (WB) spokesperson this week confirmed Crute's fall and said he had been on the mountain about six times since the crash. WB officials are waiting for the coroner's report and in the meantime are focused on supporting Crute's family.

Crute, 36, leaves behind his wife Karen and eight-month-old daughter Baylee. Originally from Perth, Australia, he moved to Whistler in about 1996 and founded Pro Ride about a decade ago.

Close friend Beau Craig said Crute was a "selfless" person who would go out of his way to help anyone. People came from all over the world for the Pro Ride camps and many of his guests returned. Craig said Crute tirelessly promoted Whistler everywhere he went.

"The community has suffered a huge loss," he said.

Crute was well known around Whistler, and many in the community have rallied together to support Karen and Baylee, Craig said. Crute was extremely proud of his daughter and was a dedicated father, he said.

Crispin Lipscomb, Crute's friend and a guest Pro Ride coach, acknowledged the role of Beau and his wife Rebecca Craig for organizing Wednesday's memorial and supporting Karen and Crute's friends.

Lipscomb said Crute was open and friendly with a great work ethic and strong local relationships. Whether it was home renovations, business planning, web design or marketing, Crute was "always into solving his own challenges," Lipscomb said.

Crute's death leaves a big hole in the community and many are still in disbelief that he's gone, Lipscomb said.

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