A snowboarder died this week at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort after somersaulting into a downed tree.
Matthew D. Kixmiller, 29, of Littleton, Colo., was pronounced dead at the scene in the late morning on Tuesday.
According to a Hood River County Sheriff report, the accident occurred after he bumped into a friend at the end of a ski run and lost his balance. He then became airborne and landed on the tree, sustaining severe chest injuries. His speed at the time of impact was estimated between 20-29 miles per hour.
Although Life Flight was called to the scene, Kixmiller was deceased upon its arrival at the resort, and he was not transported. Kixmiller had been attending Oregon State University and was accompanied by six friends from the Corvallis campus during the excursion to the mountain.
His body was taken to Anderson’s Tribute Center in Hood River and his family in Colorado was notified about the fatal accident.
“This is obviously a tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” said Dave Riley, general manager of Mt. Hood Meadows.
He said the death of Kixmiller underscores the need for recreationists to be aware of the responsibility code and take all safety precautions. There have been no fatalities at the resort since 1999 when a skier died after hitting a tree.