Snowboarding crash severed Aaron Easter’s artery |

Snowboarding crash severed Aaron Easter’s artery

— A cause of death has been determined for Aaron Easter, the 31-year-old snowboarder who died Tuesday after a snowboarding accident Monday at Steamboat Ski Area.

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said Easter impacted the ground "very hard" and twisted his neck causing a severe carotid artery injury, which led to a heart attack and an anoxic brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.

The impact broke one of Easter's ribs, caused whiplash and bruised his lung, Ryg said.

He said multiple doctors at Denver Health medical center were involved with determining the cause of death.

Easter was riding alone Monday and was found unresponsive at about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of the intermediate Quickdraw and Buckshot trails in the Sunshine Bowl area. Passers-by found Easter and performed CPR until ski patrol arrived.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said he was found in a snow depression that was marked as a hazard in a wetland area. The snow depressions are like divots and are caused by water that melts the snow below the surface. Ryg said Easter initially had no visible signs of trauma.

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Kasten said Friday that Easter was wearing a helmet.

Easter was an Illinois native who recently had moved to Steamboat. He worked as a shuttle driver at Steamboat Resorts.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email