New Hampshire teen dies, another seriously injured in Sunday River sledding accident

New Hampshire teen dies, another seriously injured in Sunday River sledding accident

An 18-year-old New Hampshire man died and
another teen was seriously injured Tuesday night when they hit a tree sledding down a
Sunday River ski trail, according to authorities. Just before 2 a.m., Oxford County Sheriff’s
deputies responded to a 911 call at the Newry ski resort, where three teenagers had gone
sledding on the Tempest trail, well after the mountain had closed, according to the
sheriff’s department and a resort spokeswoman. The 18-year-old died, and another 17-year-old
boy, also from New Hampshire, was transported to the hospital with serious injuries after
their inflatable tube went off the trail and hit a tree, according to Chief Deputy Hart
Daley. Local fire departments also responded. Daley declined to release the details of what
happened, or the identities of the sledders. He did not provide the condition of the teenager
who was injured, or the third teen who was not hospitalized. Sledding is prohibited at Sunday River, according
to resort spokeswoman Darcy Lambert. The National Ski Areas Association, which
tallies ski and snowboarding fatalities annually, does not formally track sledding deaths, but
called them “quite rare” in a 2016-2017 annual report. A portion of Sunday River’s Tempest trail
is rated a “black diamond,” an advanced rating, and another portion is a less-advanced
“blue square,” she said. The trail has a chairlift that runs up the
left side of the trail, from the perspective of a person skiing downhill, she said. Beyond grooming the trails, little activity
takes place overnight at the ski resort, she said, and ski patrol is only on duty while
the mountain is open during the day. “It’s a very sad day,” Lambert said. “Our thoughts and energies are with the
families involved.” One of the teenager’s families has a condo
at the resort, she said. The last reported death at the mountain was
in March 2015, when a 35-year-old resort employee was skiing down an advanced trail and collided
with a stand of trees. In March of last year, an employee at Sugarloaf,
another of the state’s largest and most popular ski areas, died when he lost his footing
doing trail work and slid down a race course. His death prompted Sunday River this fall
to require its staff to wear helmets on the job. The Tempest trail was closed Wednesday morning
while authorities conducted their investigation, but it has since reopened, Lambert said. That investigation is still ongoing, according
to Daley.

Antonio Breitenberg

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