Ski crash at Beaver Creek kills teen
18-year-old hits tree while wearing helmet
March 16, 2011
Beaver Creek — A Pennsylvania teen is dead after hitting a tree in Beaver Creek.
Richard Cullinan, 18, was on his first run of the day in Beaver Creek on Monday, warming up on Red Tail, an intermediate run.
Cullinan, who was described as an excellent skier, caught an edge and fell. He careened into a tree and suffered a major head injury, according to Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner.
Cullinan was wearing a helmet, Bettis said.
The Beaver Creek ski patrol responded at 9:07 a.m., almost immediately. Cullinan was unresponsive when they tried to treat him on the mountain, Bettis said.
Witnesses said ski patrollers were performing CPR as Cullinan was being transported from the mountain and into a waiting ambulance.
Doctors pronounced him dead 10:17 a.m., Bettis said.
Cullinan told those skiing with him that he'd rejoin them at the bottom of Beaver Creek and headed down Red Tail. They saw the incident, Bettis said.
Cullinan was visiting with his family from the Pittsburgh area, said Mike McWilliam, an investigator with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. McWilliam said there doesn't appear to be anything criminal about the incident.