Skier dies at Loveland Ski Area Friday
March 27, 2017
A 35-year-old skier died Friday morning, March 24, at Loveland Ski Area, just east of the Eisenhower Tunnel outside of Summit County, the resort confirmed Monday afternoon.
As first reported by Fox31 Denver, the man died just after 10:30 a.m. following an incident near the bottom of the Clear Creek County resort’s Lift 8. Loveland officials stated in a news release that the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to an eyewitness who was one of the first to discover the accident, it appeared the man had skied directly into a tree. The skier was unconscious, she said, and it was quickly apparent he had suffered serious enough injuries that it was beyond the level of treatment those immediately upon him could provide. She estimated ski patrol arrived after about 10 minutes, but by then it was too late.
“The guy was not moving, and had gone face-first into this tree,” said Denver resident Mary Radke. “I know CPR and I kept saying we should help, but there was a couple people there and they said it looked like he broke his neck on impact.”
The man, whose name has yet to be released, was reportedly wearing a helmet. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the incident, and there’s been no official word on what caused his death. Messages left by the Daily with the sheriff’s deputy in charge of the investigation, as well as County Coroner Chris Hegmann, were not returned Monday.
The death marked the state’s 11th ski-related fatality of the 2016-17 season. A 56-year-old Florida man, who was involved in a ski accident at Wolf Creek Ski Area on March 21, and subsequently died on March 25, became the 12th. Summit’s Breckenridge Ski Resort has had the most on-mountain deaths in Colorado this year with four.
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The incident at Loveland is also the first death at the ski area since 35-year-old Dan Beckenholdt, of Lutherville, Maryland, died of suffocation in a tree well in March 2013. Joseph Shematek, 71, of Windsor, Colorado, also died from neck and spine injuries sustained while skiing off the Patrol Bowl expert run in March 2012. Prior to that, a 14-year-old snowboarder from Nebraska suffocated in 2006, also in March, on a marked out-of-bounds ridge near the top of the resort.