Three days, two deaths at Northstar |

Three days, two deaths at Northstar

A 42-year-old female snowboarder died Thursday at Northstar-at-Tahoe after apparently hitting a tree on the resort’s backside on a a groomed run.

Elizabeth R. Knapp, from Rochester, N.Y., was reported to have been wearing a helmet, said Northstar spokeswoman Nicole Belt.

Ski patrollers were called to the accident just after 9 a.m., and Knapp was pronounced dead by a Care Flight nurse at 9:46 a.m.

The woman’s accident followed Tuesday’s death of 20-year-old Benjamin Michael Sumner of San Jose. Sumner also apparently hit a tree.

Sumner was skiing with friends on Martis Run at about 2 p.m. when the accident occurred. He was not wearing a helmet, Belt said. She said responding ski patrollers began resuscitation efforts immediately but Sumner was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death marks the seventh of the season at North Lake Tahoe ski resorts, including four at Northstar-at-Tahoe, one of which was a heart attack.

Nationwide, an average of 39 skiing deaths occur each season, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

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