Cirque du Soleil co-founder's son dies in accident before show

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tragedy struck under the big top Tuesday as a crew member with Cirque Du Soleil's LUZIA was seriously injured during rehearsal and then died from his injuries.

The theatrical company released a statement Wednesday identifying the crew member as the son of a Cirque du Soleil co-founder:

The entire Cirque du Soleil family is deeply saddened by the accidental death of LUZIA technician from Quebec, Olivier Rochette that happened on November 29th, in San Francisco. His immediate family, including his father Gilles Ste-Croix, one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil, has been informed of the accident. Our thoughts are with Gilles, his family and all Cirque du Soleil employees.

"I am heartbroken. I wish to extend in my name and in the name of all Cirque du Soleil employees my sincerest sympathies and offer my full support to Gilles and his family. Olivier has always been a member of our tight family and a truly beloved colleague," said Cirque du Soleil CEO, Daniel Lamarre."

The accident forced the cancellation of the show.

Cirque Dcu Soleil staff tried to quickly spread the word to ticket holders that Tuesday night's 8 p.m. show was cancelled.

"I'm in shock," said Lynde Meyers, a ticket holder. "I'm, I can't drive. I can't believe that somebody in the show is injured."

The visual spectacle arrived in San Francisco earlier this month and runs through the end of January.

Some crew members say that cancelling a show is rare. Fans were disappointed, but understanding.

"We always come to the shows," said another attendee, Mike Ortiz. "Good shows. That's too bad, I hope everything turns out."
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