UPDATE: Explosives-related incident kills Squaw Valley ski patroller | SierraSun.com

UPDATE: Explosives-related incident kills Squaw Valley ski patroller

Squaw Valley was closed Tuesday, Jan. 24, after a ski patroller at the resort died that morning.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help with funeral costs for Joe Zuiches. Click here to learn more.

UPDATE Tuesday, 2:26 p.m.:

Squaw Valley hosted a press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday regarding the accident that occurred this morning in the Gold Coast Ridge part of the ski resort.

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, told reporters during the conference that the investigation is ongoing and there is no estimate at this time when it will be complete.

Reporter Amanda Rhoades was at Tuesday’s press conference and recorded the event via Periscope on her Twitter feed below:

 

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UPDATE Tuesday, 12:10 p.m.:

Squaw Valley Ski Resort has issued an updated press release, stating the victim was 42-year-old Joe Zuiches, a resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012.

The updated statement indicates the incident occurred at about 8:35 a.m. at the top of Gold Coast Ridge and “does not appear to be avalanche related,” but does not provide further details.

Multiple sources familiar with the resort have confirmed to the Sierra Sun that the incident involved the use of explosives.

According to Squaw’s statement, officials with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and Placer County Sheriff’s Office are on scene, and an investigation is underway.

The Sun reached out to the North Tahoe Fire Protection District at 9 a.m. Tuesday, but our call was not returned.

The fire district published the following post to their Facebook page:

The Sierra Sun will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

 The original story from 10:05 a.m. Tuesday is below:


OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Squaw Valley Ski Resort issued a statement at 9 a.m. Tuesday confirming that a ski patrol employee died during avalanche control procedures at about 8:35 a.m. Tuesday.

The victim’s name has not yet been released, and will remain private until the family is notified, according to the statement, which the Sierra Sun obtained at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

An investigation is underway, officials said.

According to the statement, Squaw Valley will remain closed for the rest of the day. Alpine Meadows is open.

“The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected,” the resort said in its statement.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2653 or @akrhoades.

Correction, Jan. 25 12:27 p.m.: Earlier reports, based on statements from Squaw Valley Ski Resort, stated that the victim was a resident of Olympic Valley, Calif. We have since learned that he was a resident of Truckee, and had previously resided in Olympic Valley. The Sun regrets the error.

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