Technician Olivier Rochette, son of Cirque du Soleil’s co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix, has died due to a tragic accident at Luzia’s site in San Francisco. Olivier was struck by a telescopic lift while setting up before the show on Tuesday night. The accident is currently under investigation by the San Francisco Police and CalOSHA.
Cirque du Soleil posted about the accident on their social media accounts early Wednesday morning, although Olivier’s name was not released at that time. It later posted an update with more information.
Daniel Lamarre, Cirque’s CEO, released the following statement:
“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.”
Franco Dragone, the director of many of Cirque’s early shows, also posted a message on his Facebook account.
Olivier’s death follows artist Karina Silva’s accident at La Nouba while training on October 21 and Lisa Skinner’s accident while performing on stage at Kooza in Australia on November 27.
Our thoughts are with Olivier’s family and the entire Cirque du Soleil team.