Australian man found dead in Function Junction 

Prior Snowboards employee ‘quite inebriated’ on night of death


Jamie Rogers enjoyed a night out with friends before he came home to Function Junction on Saturday night to find himself locked out of his apartment.

Tragically, the 24-year-old Australian was found dead the following morning, lying outside 1005 Alpha Lake Road on broken concrete and gravel.

According to Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair, Rogers was found at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, by a group of community members who immediately called the Whistler RCMP.

"We've traced his movements very closely through our investigation," said LeClair. "It seems he finished his workday and was drinking with some friends at home and at the pub."

LeClair said Rogers came home again and then went out to another pub in Whistler Village. He left alone shortly before midnight and took a taxi back to Function Junction. At some point, he lost his wallet, which contained his key.

"He couldn't pay the cab driver, who then drove him to the bank machine in Function Junction where he may have lost his wallet... and they reached an agreement to be paid later for the ride," said LeClair.

"He went back to the residence, but he couldn't get in... He was found at the back of the residence, probably attempting to climb to the second floor window. He was found on broken concrete and gravel and had lacerations on his head consistent with a fall, but there is no sign of head trauma that could have knocked him unconscious."

The Staff Sergeant said Rogers likely passed out and succumbed to hypothermia and exposure before passing away. Temperatures that night dropped below minus-10 Celsius.

He added that according to witness reports, Rogers was "quite inebriated" that night. There is no indication of drug use or foul play.

The RCMP has notified Rogers's parents in Ballarat, Australia and they are currently on route to Whistler.

Rogers moved to Whistler in July and spent most of the summer in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park before getting a job with Prior Snowboards in September. He had a mechanical engineering background and was helping the Whistler-based business build snowboards and skis.

Dean Thompson, one of the owners of Prior, said on Tuesday that everyone at the Function Junction shop is shaken up by what has happened.

"We are all pretty shocked and disappointed," said Thompson. "He was a great guy, and I am sad to see him go.

"Jamie was a happy, positive, intelligent person who came to work and just made the whole place a better place to work in. He always was extremely talented at all the jobs he took on, and he was extremely hardworking, punctual, and good-natured."

Close friend Dale Johnston also sent out his deepest condolences to Rogers's family and friends back in Ballarat.

"He was a great friend with a passion for mountain biking and the most positive of attitudes," said Johnston, who worked with Rogers at Prior. "He always had a cheeky grin on his face, and he was the kind of guy that even after knowing him for a few short months, he felt like an old friend. He will be sorely missed."

No service plans for Rogers have been announced.

LeClair added that the RCMP want to send out a clear message that if people are going to be drinking to the point of intoxication, they should have a ride arranged to take them all the way home and someone to take care of them.

"This is why police arrest people for being drunk in public," he said.

- With notes from Andrew Mitchell



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