Kressyda Ming Is Sixth Person to Die at Colorado Ski Area This Season

Kressyda Ming. Additional images and more below.
Kressyda Ming. Additional images and more below. Facebook
Update: A GoFundMe campaign has been launched on behalf of Kressyda Ming, who died skiing at Purgatory resort in southwestern Colorado over the weekend; see our previous coverage below.

As noted in the introduction to the page, Ming, who lived in New Mexico, was the mother of five children ages ten and under.

The campaign's goal is $30,000, and at this writing (less than a day after the page's creation), more than $17,000 has been pledged.

Below, read the aforementioned intro, followed by an accompanying photo; click for more information. That's followed by our earlier report.

Kressyda and Cameron Ming Benefit

On February 25, Kressyda Ming was enjoying family time at Purgatory Resort skiing with her children and friends. Kressyda passed away following a tragic skiing accident. She was a beautiful person inside and out, bringing joy and selfless service to countless people. This tragedy has left a hole in many peoples' hearts.

Kressyda leaves behind her husband, Cameron, and 5 children ages 10 and under.

Cameron and the children appreciate your thoughts, prayers, service, and well wishes. This fund serves to help with funeral costs and the care of her children. ALL proceeds will go directly to Cameron for the families support.

In addition to this account, a Wells Fargo Benefit account has been setup under the name:

Benefit Memorial Fund for Kressyda and Sterling C Ming
Account ending in 8120

click to enlarge The Ming family, as seen on a newly created GoFundMe page. - GOFUNDME
The Ming family, as seen on a newly created GoFundMe page.
Original post, 5:45 a.m. February 27: Kressyda Ming, a 34-year-old mother of five from New Mexico, is the sixth person to die at a Colorado ski area during the 2016-2017 season. Ming lost her life after a crash at Purgatory, a resort in southwestern Colorado not far from Durango.

There were nine deaths at Colorado ski areas during the 2015-2016 season.

As we've reported, the first skier death of this season took place at Breckenridge on December 19, 2016. The victim was Kevin Pitts, a 48-year-old Longmont resident who worked in marketing for Oracle.

Pitts hit a tree on Breckenridge's Alpine Alley run, not far from Peak 8's Imperial Express SuperChair, shortly after 1 p.m. on the 19th.

Although he was wearing a helmet, Pitts sustained a fatal blunt-force-trauma injury. He was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m. at the Breckenridge Medical Center.

The season has also seen a resort death that wasn't skiing-related.

On December 29, 2016, San Antonio mom Kelly Huber, age forty, fell to her death from Granby Ranch's Quick Draw Express ski lift.

click to enlarge From Kressyda Ming's profile on the Defined Fitness website. - DEFINED.COM
From Kressyda Ming's profile on the Defined Fitness website.
A subsequent analysis revealed that "issues within the chairlift's electrical drive/control system...contributed to a rare dynamic event" that led to the tragedy, in which Huber's two daughters, ages nine and twelve, were also injured.

The next tragedy at Breckenridge began unfolding on Thursday, January 12, when Sean Haberthier, a 47-year-old from Denver, was reported missing. The following day, he was found on Lower Boneyard, an expert run at Breck not far from the Peak 8 lift.

Haberthier was alive when he was located, but he didn't respond to medical treatment and was pronounced dead later on the morning of January 13. He's said to have suffered a severe skull fracture after crashing into trees. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

Ricardo Cohen died on Friday, February 10, also at Breckenridge, on Volunteer, an expert run off the resort's renowned Peak 9. Cohen was wearing a helmet, but he didn't crash into trees, as is all too common in such fatalities. Instead, the Summit County coroner's office has determined that he simply slammed his head too hard into the snow.

The fifth skiing fatality of the season was Alicyn Mitcham, a seventeen-year-old from Colmesneil, Texas. She died after crashing into a tree while skiing at Winter Park Resort on February 15.

Authorities with the Grand County coroner's office said that Mitcham was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, which took place at around 12:30 p.m. on the 15th on the Forget-Me-Not run at Winter Park.

click to enlarge A lynx was recently spotted on Purgatory's Demon Trail, where the fatal accident took place. - YOUTUBE
A lynx was recently spotted on Purgatory's Demon Trail, where the fatal accident took place.
First reports about Ming's accident came in at around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, according to the Durango Herald. Ming collided with a tree on the lower part of Demon Trail, an intermediate run at Purgatory most recently in the news late last year for a much more benign reason: A lynx was caught on video strolling across the trail.

A resident of Farmington, New Mexico who is said to have been skiing at Purgatory with some friends, Ming had been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. She survived the initial impact, but failed to respond to treatment. She was pronounced dead at around 4:30 p.m. on the 25th.

A statement that Purgatory general manager Colin McBeath shared with the Herald notes: "All of us at Purgatory Resort are deeply saddened by this rare and tragic accident, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the skier."

McBeath's use of the word "rare" appears to be justified. The most recent previous skiing fatality at Purgatory we could find was Bayfield fourteen-year-old Maddie Milner, who passed away in January 2010.

Ming's Facebook page reveals that she attended Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah, studied English literature at Brigham Young University and went to the International School of Islamabad. The page's main photo features her with five young children.

These kids are also the focus of her profile at Defined Fitness, an Albuquerque business, which lists her as an instructor. The item reads:
Kressyda recently attained her certification to teach indoor cycling. She loves exercise in all varieties, especially when she can include her husband and 5 kids. Kressyda aims to make her spin class enjoyable for everyone and is always open to music tips, fun new workout ideas and meeting new spinners!
Jennie B. Larsen, a friend of Ming's, expressed her grief by putting together a musical memorial on SoundCloud. She prefaces the track with this heartfelt comment:
This is an arrangement I made for my sweet friend, Kressyda, who passed away in a skiing accident. She was the best listener, full of wisdom and love; her laughter filled the world with joy. She was always building others up, and always inspired me to dream big and pursue those dreams! Kress, I will miss you, and I will be praying for your sweet family. We love you!
Here's Larsen's musical remembrance of Kressyda Ming.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts