06/24/2013 09:36 EDT | Updated 06/25/2013 01:14 EDT

Robert Nelson, Alberta Flooding Hero, Dies Helping Neighbours


An Alberta man is being praised by his family and friends after he died while trying to help his flood-ravaged neighbours on Friday.

Robert David Nelson, 41, of Okotoks died after his ATV turned while he rode it to check on his neighbours and their homes which backed into Sheep River, swelling with fast-moving flood water.

He was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene, CTV News reported.

According to the Calgary Herald, Nelson had only slept an hour after he spent the previous day stacking sandbags.

“He went out about five in the morning on his ATV to make sure the sandbags were holding and doing that they were supposed to,” said Nelson’s mother-in-law Mary Dougherty to the Calgary Sun.

“He landed on his head, on the pavement. It’s just very tragic.”

Nelson’s wife was able to hold her husband and say goodbye before he died of his head injuries.

The late Calgary-area lawyer leaves behind a family of six.

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