Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Steamboat Springs The man who died Tuesday from injuries suffered in a snowboarding accident was an adventurous Illinois native seeking happiness in Steamboat Springs.
“He had a pass, and he was really excited about going to ride whenever he wanted to,” Max Damore said. “I think he really liked the people here.”
Damore worked with Aaron Easter at Steamboat Resorts, where Easter was hired in the fall as a shuttle driver.
“He’s one of those guys that comes into a job and that everyone likes immediately,” said Stacy Charlton, who also worked with Easter.
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.
Easter was flown to Denver Health medical center after the accident and died Tuesday.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said Wednesday that he contacted Easter’s doctors in Denver but that a cause of death has not been determined. A paramedic who treated Easter said he did not appear to have any head trauma.
Ryg said Easter was 31 years old. Steamboat Ski Area initially reported he was 32.
“It’s a bummer,” Damore said. “Everybody wanted to get to know him better.”
Easter’s parents are Robert and Cheryl Easter. Robert Easter is a longtime professor and high-ranking administrator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Easter also had an older brother, Brian Easter, 39, and sister, Johanna Robinson, 35.
Brian Easter said his brother went to Mahomet-Seymour High School about 15 miles from the university and graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a forestry degree.
Brian Easter said his brother moved to Steamboat from Wisconsin because he was looking for a fresh start in a place that offered a lot of outdoor opportunities.
“He went out to Colorado to try to find something that makes him happy,” Brian Easter said. “Just in the short time he was there, he was happy.”
Brian Easter said his brother was an adventurous person who once rappelled down a cliff infested with rattle snakes just so he could get a better look at the snakes. He also would go backpacking alone, which drove his parents nuts, his brother said.
“He was a very fun person,” Brian Easter said. “He had a lot of friends, but he also didn’t mind being alone in the outdoors.”
Brian Easter said that he does not know details about his brother’s accident and that there has been a large response from the community in his hometown.
“There are a lot of people praying for us, and that does help,” Brian Easter said.
Aaron Easter was an organ donor and recipients have been found for his kidneys, heart and liver.
“We took solace in knowing that all those families got a phone call saying, ‘We have an organ for your kid,’” Brian Easter said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com