Skier died of asphyxiation
December 22, 2006
Aspen, CO Colorado
SNOWMASS ” The 25-year-old man who was killed in an avalanche at Snowmass Ski Area on Thursday died of asphyxia, according to Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Scott Thompson.
An autopsy was performed on Nicholas Blake Davidson to determine if he suffocated or suffered trauma when he was swept away by the slide. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Robert Kurtzman, a forescenic pathologist at Community Hospital in Grand Junction.
Thompson said the asphxia was caused by snow blocking Davidson’s airways.
Davidson was skiing in the Lower Ladder section of the Hanging Valley Wall. He was jumping off cliffs when the avalanche occurred at about 1:10 p.m. His body was found at about 1:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:59 p.m.
The Ladder area is within the Snowmass Ski Area boundary but it was closed at the time of the accident, according to the Aspen Skiing Co. A Skico spokesman said the area was clearly marked as closed.