News

Videos: Keystone death marks fourth official ski-resort casualty of season

On January 14, we reported about the tragic death of Sean Teater, the third official ski-resort casualty of the season.

This weekend, unfortunately, that number increased by one: A thus-far-unidentified 46-year-old man died while skiing at Keystone, despite wearing a helmet.

We've got details about his sad passing, including videos, as well as information about how resort fatalities are calculated.

As we've reported, the resorts themselves have established the rules about whether skiing deaths are counted toward the official total -- and this standard excludes those that are outside boundaries where the public is allowed to ski, even if they're otherwise on the ski area's property.

As such, the death of Tony Seibert, grandson of Vail Mountain's founder, isn't included in the official death count, since he and friends were in East Vail Chutes, outside the boundaries of the ski area; a Vail Resort plan describes it as "an extremely steep, avalanche prone bowl that drains down to Interstate 70 or to East Vail." And indeed, an avalanche was triggered, taking Seibert's life.

In contrast, the Keystone death appears to have taken place on a public area of the resort. According to the Summit County coroner's office, the man was traveling between a pair of intermediate runs, Porcupine and Bighorn.

Here's a Keystone video from last month highlighting conditions on Porcupine, which is said to have "a nice, even pitch to it and great views."

And here's a helmet-cam video depicting Bighorn:

As noted above, the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the Keystone accident, which took place around 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 8. However, he died of blunt force chest trauma after hitting a tree.

Our condolences to the man's friends, family and loved ones.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa January 14: "Sean Teater among three ski season fatalities so far, death of Vail icon's grandson isn't included."

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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