UPDATE: Pair of spring vacationers die sledding halfpipe at Copper Mountain Resort on Sunday night
The two young men from Illinois were on spring break, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6:30 p.m.
A pair of spring vacationers from Illinois died in a sledding accident Sunday night at Copper Mountain Resort, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
The 17- and 18-year-old males reportedly rode tandem down the halfpipe and launched off a large snowbank at the bottom before coming down hard on ice, causing blunt force trauma, the news release states. Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in a phone interview the two were on plastic sleds and a witness immediately called 911 to report the incident. He said an investigation remains ongoing.
Plastic skis and snowboards, sleds, saucers, toboggans and tubes are not allowed at Copper, according to safety policies on the ski resort’s website. Lift access at the resort closes at 4 p.m. everyday. A spokesperson for Copper Mountain Resort did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and the friends of the individuals involved in this tragic incident,” FitzSimons said.
Paula Crane, superintendent of the Prairie Central school district in Fairbury, Illinois, confirmed Monday that the two teens were students from Prairie Central High School.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene around 8:35 p.m. Emergency medical services treated the two men, but they could not be revived and were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the news release.
The Summit County Coroner’s Office has taken over the investigation into the cause and manner of death, the release states. The Sheriff’s Office said it would like to remind everyone to be safe while recreating on the snow and to be aware of the risks associated with such activities.
Noting that the investigation is ongoing, FitzSimons said he could not immediately provide information related to how long people were sledding or whether others were involved.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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