Woman, 77, killed after skiing into tree at Lake Tahoe resort
STATELINE, Nev. — A 77-year-old woman died Tuesday while skiing at Heavenly Mountain Resort off Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Kathryn Strangman, 77, of Madison, Wisconsin, died from injuries suffered after hitting a tree Tuesday morning.
The accident reportedly occurred at the intersection of Crossover and Comet ski runs, high on the Nevada side of the ski resort. Both runs are intermediate level blue slopes.
Emergency responders arrived on scene at Heavenly’s Boulder Lodge base area, on the Nevada side of the resort, around noon.
Heavenly ski patrol was first to respond at the site of the accident higher on the mountain. Patrollers attempted lifesaving treatment following the incident.
According to the department’s press release, an autopsy is scheduled along with an investigation into the incident.
Reached for comment, sheriff’s department spokesman sergeant Pat Brooks said, “It was just an unfortunate accident.”
As to potential causes or circumstances, he added, “I can’t speculate on that.”
According to figures from the National Ski Areas Association, on average, 38 people die per year in accidents at ski resorts nationwide. The organization’s figures also indicate that U.S. resorts see close to 56 million skier/snowboarder visits annually.
In an email to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, NSAA director of risk and regulatory affairs Dave Byrd said, “Fatalities arising from collisions with trees (are) the overwhelming cause of death at ski areas, with approximately 70 percent of all ski/snowboard fatalities in the United States resulting from tree collisions.”