2 teens on spring break killed in sledding accident at Colorado resort


Two Illinois teenagers, on spring break at Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado, were killed Sunday night while sledding down a closed halfpipe, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office. Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

Two Illinois teenagers, on spring break at Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado, were killed Sunday night while sledding down a closed halfpipe, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

March 20 (UPI) — Two Illinois teenagers, on spring break at Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado, were killed Sunday night while sledding down a closed halfpipe.

The 17 and 18-year-old males, who were seniors at Prairie Central High School in Fairbury, Ill., were riding together on a plastic sled — which is not permitted at the resort — and went airborne off a large snowbank at the bottom of the halfpipe, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

“The two individuals came down hard on the hard ice below, causing blunt force trauma,” deputies said, after rushing to the ski area at about 8:35 p.m. Sunday. The teens were pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the individuals involved in this tragic incident,” said Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.

Copper Mountain, which is about 78 miles west of Denver, said safety is their top priority as they urged guests “to please observe posted signs and warnings and not enter closed trails and areas.”

The chairlifts close daily at 4 p.m., and the halfpipe was roped-off at the time of the accident, according to the resort.

“The entire team at Copper Mountain is deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” Dustin Lyman, Copper Mountain’s president and general manager, said in a statement.

The students’ school district also issued a statement, informing parents and students of the accident.

“On Sunday, two Prairie Central High School students lost their lives in a ski-related accident,” Paula Crane, superintendent of Prairie Central Community Unit School District Number 8, wrote in a letter on the district’s website. “Both were great students, talented athletes and most importantly amazing people.”

“The Prairie Central Community continues to mourn their loss, and will support their families, our staff members and our students throughout the grieving process.”



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