Chelsea Rebecca Alvarez, a 24-year-old Canadian woman, has died after falling off of a mountain while hiking in Italy with her fiance. Alvarez lost her balance while hiking on a mountain path in South Tyrol on New Year’s Day. Alvarez was hiking near the Austrian border at about 7,200 feet above-sea-level when she lost her balance and fell about 500 feet onto rocks below. She was killed instantly.
Alvarez had only moved to Italy with her fiance Colin Behenna, a former Ontario Hockey League player, just six months ago. Behenna had signed a contract to play for the Sterzing Broncos, a hockey team based in Italy. The Broncos canceled their game scheduled for New Year’s Day due to a “tragic accident” involving the team.
Alvarez graduated from Conestoga College with an engineering degree in 2015. According to the Huffington Post, Alvarez worked as a bartender and server in Waterloo, Ontario for five years until she left for Europe in August.
Cameron MacIntyre, the owner of the St. Louis Bar and Grill in Waterloo, Ontario that Alvarez worked at, said in an interview that Alvarez “was just a wonderful, wonderful young lady,” he said.
“She was fully of energy, brilliant, beautiful…everyone she touched around her, their life got better after meeting her,” MacIntyre said.
Gus Bastias, a regular at the St. Louis Bar and Grill, said the news shocked many in the hockey community who knew the young couple. Alvarez was involved in the local hockey community, as she played hockey for the St. David’s Celtics while in high school and on local rep-level teams.
“The hockey community is a tight community,” Bastias said. “It’s extremely shocking to our community here, to our group.”