B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Chloë Koncek, Fleure Koncek, Petr Koncek and Dominick Koncek often spent time outdoors together hiking, fishing or taking their dogs on a walk. (Contributed photo)

As the vibrations and rustling of a fallen tree quieted against the forest floor, Petr Koncek heard chirping amid the hushed quiet.

He searched through the tangled branches near the top of the fallen tree he had just cut and saw the nest of surviving little birds calling out for their mom.

“So he picked up the nest and climbed another tree that he knew was safe from being cut, and gently placed the nest and its little birds into the branches of this other tree,” says his wife, Fleure Koncek. With 20 years experience in the logging industry, Petr loved what he did and he did it well, she says.

“He had the utmost respect for the forest. He just always made sure that the animals that were living there were protected the best that he could — every life was valuable.”

The 46-year-old Terrace man was killed in a logging accident down the Douglas Channel near Eagle Bay on April 18 after being struck by a falling tree.

READ MORE: Terrace man killed in Douglas Channel logging accident

According to WorkSafe BC, Petr was falling on the forest road right-of-way when he was struck by a tree felled by another faller. Fleure says it’s likely Petr didn’t see it coming.

“Safety and quality were his two priorities at work, so its very frustrating that he was so safe and this happened to him,” she says.

WorkSafe BC considers manual tree falling is one of the most dangerous professions in the province. Petr’s death was the second out of three harvesting fatalities recorded this year, according to BC Forest Safety Council.

Fleure knew the dangers of the profession all too well, and often asked Petr to stop because of the risk. But every morning he would leave, and every morning she would tell him to be safe, and that she loved him.

“That morning [on April 18], I did tell him that. I’m so grateful that I got to say those last words to him,” she says.

Petr was born in the Czech Republic and enlisted as a soldier in the Czech Republic Army. He then worked as a peacekeeper during the war in Yugoslavia for a year, where he experienced immense human tragedy, Fleure says.

Tired of war, Petr decided to pursue his dream of travelling in Canada and organized a trip to see the country’s vast mountain landscape.

He met Fleure during a trip to Haida Gwaii and they settled in Terrace for Petr’s work.

Though he was passionate about forestry, family always came first for Petr. They have two children together, 20-year old Dominick and 12-year old Chloë. The family would often take their three dogs for a walk, or spend the day hiking and fishing together.

While Fleure describes herself as more of the family’s “drill sergeant,” Petr was the fun-loving father with a curious mind.

“He was a great dad. I could not have asked for a better husband or a better father for my children,” she says.

Coping with Petr’s death has been devastating for Fleure and her family. Their grieving was compounded when two of their dogs died within three weeks after the accident. The youngest dog, who had the closest relationship with Petr, passed away on the same day as his celebration of life.

“My kids are really completely devastated with this. The loss of those dogs was so hard, but the pain that I feel from losing Petr just overrides everything.”

READ MORE: Sande Overpass open after delays caused by tipped logging truck

Fleure feels she has to be strong for her children, but feels it’s important for them to see her grieve too.

“I think you need to show your kids that it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to be mad. It’s okay to just talk about it. We can’t pretend like he’s not there and didn’t exist, that’s not giving him the justice he needs,” she says.

Seeing the support of her friends, family, and residents in the community has made a huge difference, she says. An online Facebook auction was set up to raise money for the Koncek family. They’ve also received cards, fruit baskets, flowers, and other gifts, with others jumping in to help Fleure with household chores, cooking, or just to keep her company.

“We are so grateful for everything that everyone has done for us, from our closest friends to complete strangers. I told them the words thank you do not justify how thankful we are,” she says.

“[Terrace] has become my home, there’s no more doubts in my mind. This is where I want to be.”

Learning to live without Petr, after 23 years of marriage, will be a slow process for herself and her two children, Fleure says. But she is glad to know his kind, gentle spirit made an impact wherever he went.

“People that I didn’t know Petr knew, all knew how he was. That’s when I realized he wasn’t just like this with us, he was like this with everyone he met. Nobody’s perfect, but he was pretty near perfect.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

forestrykitimatterrace

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

The centre will open up for child care services on Nov. 2. File photo
Construction complete on Goat Mountain Child Care Centre

Centre staff will begin delivering child care services on Nov. 2

The house is located near two schools. Photo: Connor Trembley
Dog attack seriously injures young boy in Castlegar

Despite investigating the incident, city staff aren’t confirming if the dog has been put down

Kootenay West Candidates (L to R) Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green), Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent, Ed Varney (Independent).
Q&A with Kootenay West candidates: Affordable housing

Eighth in a series of Q&As with the candidates.

Environment Canada has issued a snow warning for the Kootenays on Friday. File photo
Environment Canada issues snow warning for Friday

Two-to-10 centimetres is expected to fall

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read