Two die in two days at Summit ski slopes |

Two die in two days at Summit ski slopes

Jane Stebbins

SUMMIT COUNTY – Skier Safety Week did not get off to a good start this weekend as a teenager died at Breckenridge Ski Resort after striking a tree while skiing Sunday.In a separate incident, a skier died at Copper Mountain Resort of a medical condition.Fifteen-year-old Jerry Eckles of Houston, Texas, died Sunday morning after striking a tree on the advanced intermediate Spruce Trail on Peak 8 at Breckenridge, according to County Coroner Joanne Richardson.The teen was visiting with a church group. Ski patrollers transferred him to Breckenridge Medical Center where doctors pronounced him dead. Richardson said he died of “deceleration injuries/blunt trauma.” The boy was not wearing a helmet.Conditions on the mountain were said to be good, with more than 3 feet of snow falling over the resort in the past 12 days.”It’s tragic,” said Emily Jacob, spokeswoman for the Breckenridge Ski Resort. “Whenever something like this happens, the only word that comes to mind is ‘tragic.'”The case is still under investigation, Jacobs said.Kwan Vu of Houston, Texas, 40, was skiing on the intermediate Easy Feelin’ trail at Copper Mountain Saturday when witnesses saw him collapse.Paramedics took him to St. Anthonys Central Hospital in Denver where he died at 6:40 p.m., about four hours after his fall.Doctors said the cause of death was an aneurysm.Eckles’ death at Breckenridge was the sixth skiing related death at state resorts this season and the second in Summit County.A snowboarder died Dec. 31 at Breckenridge Ski Resort after colliding with a tree.There were 15 skiing related deaths in Colorado last ski season, according to Colorado Ski Country USA, an industry trade organization. The organization defines a skier fatality as one in which a person has died due to a trauma-related collision with another individual, tree, sign, structure, etc., within ski area boundaries during resort operating hours. It does not track health-related deaths, such as from seizures or heart attacks.Vail, Colorado

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