Snowboarder dies after tree collision at Snowmass
Ryan Summerlin March 22, 2014
A snowboarder killed after hitting a tree at Snowmass ski area Tuesday has been identified as Uwe Breitkreuz, 54, of Germany, according to the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.
Breitkreuz died of hemorrhagic shock due to pelvic trauma, said Michael Buglione, of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The death was ruled accidental.
Ski patrol was notified at 2:46 p.m. of the accident, which happened when the snowboarder “collided with a tree on the Gunner’s View trail just before the intersection with Bear Bottom,” Aspen Skiing Co. said in a statement. Gunner’s View and Bear Bottom are intermediate trails accessed by the Elk Camp chairlift on Snowmass.
Breitkreuz was snowboarding with at least one other person at the time, said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. Another passerby witnessed the accident and notified a ski patroller at the bottom of the chairlift, who “responded immediately” by riding the lift up and skiing down to the scene, Hanle said. It wasn’t clear how the collision occurred, Hanle said.
Breitkreuz was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. He was treated at the scene and taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead, Skico said.
“We are truly saddened by this loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with the man’s family and friends at this time,” Skico said.
This is the second death at Skico’s four area mountains this season. Jonathan Stuart, 56, of Aspen, died Jan. 11 after colliding with a tree on the lower Bellisimo run on Aspen Mountain.
There have been six in-bounds skier fatalities in Colorado this season, said Jennifer Rudolph, of Colorado Ski Country USA, which tracks all the state’s ski areas except for those owned by Vail Resorts.