A British woman has died after she lost control of a snowmobile which smashed into a tree while on holiday with her boyfriend in Canada.
Pretty Charlotte Mei Ling Lee, 31, was negotiating a mountain trail when she suffered catastrophic head injuries during a festive holiday with boyfriend Domynique Tamaire.
He was a passenger on the vehicle and was also seriously hurt in the smash in picturesque Ferne-Neuve, Quebec.
The pair were rushed to hospital where they were later joined by Charlotte’s distraught family, who flew to her bedside from their home in Bristol.
But on Thursday, five days after the crash, they made the agonising decision switch off her ventilator and donate her organs.
In a statement, mum Elaine, dad Frank and sisters Helen and Jenny said: “We are all absolutely devastated by the loss of our beautiful, tender-hearted Charlotte.
“Although our hearts are broken we are taking great comfort from the overwhelming amount of love, support, kind message and generosity of the many people that have been in touch.
“Charlotte was loved by so many people and will forever be in our hearts.”
The accident happened at a popular spot for trekking and outdoor activities on Saturday.
Local police say Charlotte – known as Lottie to pals – had little experience driving the rented snowmobile and might have lost control while doing a “bad manoeuvre”.
The magistrates court assistant was transferred 100 miles to Montreal Hospital after the incident.
A spokesman for the Quebec Provincial Police said: “A young woman from the UK was involved in a snowmobile accident which was driven into a tree.
“It appears she was driving along a trail and lost control of the machine, maybe she did a bad manoeuvre.
“The snowmobile had been rented and there is some evidence that she did not have a lot of experience when it came to driving the machine.
“She suffered major head injuries and the man who was with her also suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
“Both of the victims were transported to hospital but the woman died later at the hospital.”
It is understood her family are still in Canada arranging repatriation.
An online appeal to help her family from Portishead, Bristol, foot the medical bills has already raised more than £12,000.
A family friend said they had now discovered Charlotte had insurance which will cover the bills and potentially the full cost of repatriation.
But donations have continued to pour in, and website creator Janie Digby said the money will now probably be put towards her funeral, the family’s travelling costs or donated to a charity in Charlotte’s name.
In an online message she said: “Your messages of support and enormously generous donations have really touched us and we don’t think that we will ever be able to fully express our gratitude.
“It’s been a truly terrible week, but knowing that so many people care, send their support and want to help has been a huge comfort to Jenny and Elaine.”
When Charlotte was declared dead by the Montreal Coroner on Thursday, she posted: “Her body remains on a ventilator as her parents have made the very generous and brave decision to donate her organs for life saving purposes.
“The recipients of the donated organs will be prepared and the family anticipate that this and the turning off of the ventilator will take place this evening Canadian time.
“Charlotte’s sisters Helen and Jenny are so touched by how many of you have been wishing Charlotte and the family well and we are all completely blown away by the generosity of people donating to Charlotte’s fund.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said they were aware of the situation and were “providing consular assistance”.