Man dies after snowboarding accident at Steamboat Ski Area
January 24, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Aaron Easter’s age.
Aaron Easter, 31, has died from injuries he sustained while snowboarding Monday at Steamboat Ski Area.
Easter was found unresponsive at about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of the 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 Easter was snowboarding alone.
Denver Health spokeswoman Natalie Gillespie read a statement from the family Tuesday night.
"The Easter family is grateful to the ski patrol and the personnel at Yampa Valley Medical Center for their effort and care," Gillespie said. "They would also like to encourage that when engaged in outdoor sports, to do it with a partner."
Kasten said Tuesday that Easter was found in a snow depression that was marked as a hazard in a wetland area.
Kasten said the snow depressions are like divots and are caused by water that melts the snow below the surface.
"There is no actual water exposed," Kasten said. "It wasn't a running creek."
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Lt. Chuck Cerasoli said he was volunteering as a paramedic at the ski area during the incident.
He said that Easter did not have any trauma to his face and that ski patrol used two sleds and a snowmobile to bring him off the mountain. Cerasoli said a breathing tube was inserted on the mountain and CPR was performed during the entire trip to the base.
"It's a pretty monumental effort in my opinion on ski patrol's part," he said.
Cerasoli said he thought some rhythm was restored to Easter's heart once he got to the hospital.
Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said that Detective Tom Munden is investigating the case and that more information might be available Wednesday. It was unclear Tuesday night whether Easter was living in Routt County or just visiting.
Easter's father is Robert Easter, a high-ranking administrator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Robert Easter's administrative aide, Juan Chambers, said Tuesday that Robert Easter and his wife, Cheryl, flew to Denver from Illinois on Monday to be with their son. He was listed as being in grave condition at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
"It was a very traumatic injury," Chambers said. "The prognosis was not great."
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com