Tributes to bank lawyers killed in Italy avalanche

PA

Tributes have been paid to the families of two lawyers killed in an avalanche in Italy’s Alps.

Barclays Bank employees Matt Ziegler, 43, and New Zealand national Katherine Clarke, 39, both from London, had gone skiing on Sunday in the Veny valley near the ski resort town of Courmayeur.

Alpine rescue teams later found their bodies along with a French skier and a Polish skier.

In a statement issued on Tuesday via Barclays, the family of Mr Ziegler said: “Matt was very much loved by all of us, his friends and his colleagues.

“We want to say thank you to everyone who has sent their condolences and offered their help.

“This is obviously an extremely sad and difficult time for us, so we thank you for respecting our need for privacy so we can try and deal with our loss.”

Matt Ziegler
Matt Ziegler

Jim Clarke-Sullivan, the husband of Ms Clarke, said: “Words cannot describe the loss we feel after Sunday’s accident.

“Katherine was an amazing mother who loved our daughter, Isla, very deeply and was completely devoted to her.

“We enjoyed 14 years together and were looking forward to celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary on Wednesday. I have so many stories to tell Isla about her mum, who was always brave, always calm, bright and happy.

“Katherine had an adventurous spirit which found its home in the mountains.

Katherine Clarke
Katherine Clarke

“She was a very experienced backcountry skier and climber, tackling mountains all over the world, including becoming the first New Zealand woman to have climbed and skied the three highest peaks in Greenland.

“She was always meticulous and careful in everything she did, and though she was killed in a tragic accident, it was doing something that she loved.

“She also loved her career and was very close to her team, many of whom were friends and were with her in the Alps. She will be missed beyond words.”

A rescue helicopter in Aosta
A rescue helicopter in Aosta

A spokesman for Barclays said: “It is with great sadness we learned of the tragedy in the Alps over the weekend. Our thoughts are with the families of all the victims, but especially those of our two colleagues, Matt and Katherine.

“We are supporting their families in every way we can, and we are supporting their friends and colleagues at Barclays who are devastated by the loss.”

The risk of avalanches in the Valle d’Aosta region was marked as high by the authorities over the weekend.

On Sunday two Italian skiers, including one in the Valle d’Aosta region, were also killed by avalanches, according to Associated Press.