COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (WCIA/WMBD) — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement on their investigation into the accident that resulted in the deaths of Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr of Fairbury, Ill.
Officials said that officers responded to a sledding accident at Copper Mountain Ski Resort at about 8:30 p.m. March 19.
The 17 and 18-year-olds from Illinois were reportedly riding tandem down a half-pipe and police said they were launched off a large snowbank at the bottom half of the pipe. Officials said the two teenagers came down hard on the hard ice below, causing “blunt force trauma”.
Police said that despite immediate medical attention from emergency medical services, the teenagers could not be revived and were pronounced deceased on the scene.
Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said, “Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the individuals involved in this tragic incident”.
WCIA’s sister station, WMBD, reported earlier Monday morning that Prairie Central Community Unit School District Number 8 released a statement about the accident. The district said that two Prairie Central High School students had died in what was initially described as a ski-related accident.
“This loss will affect everyone in our school family and in our communities. Students may have a difficult time dealing with the loss, and we encourage you to talk with your child,” Superintendent Paula Crane stated.
The Baptist Church in Fairbury, Ill. is offering counseling, prayer, and a place for students to gather throughout the day Monday.
The Summit County Coroner’s Office has taken over the investigation into the cause and manner of death.
The Copper Mountain website lists that all trails and lifts are closed by 4 p.m., night skiing is not available. Their site’s safety information also explains that sleds are not allowed on Copper Mountain.
This remains an active investigation and no further details are available at this time.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to always practice safe on snow activity habits and to be aware of the risks associated with these activities.