|3/3/2012 10:13:00 AM
Resort Responds To Skier’s Death
|Amy Ash Nixon
Staff WriterBURKE — The beloved Rev. R. John Snow, 70, who died Thursday afternoon from a tragic skiing injury at Burke Mountain, apparently hit a tree off the Carriage Road trail and was found alone, according to a Friday statement issued by Tim McGuire, vice president and general manager of the ski resort.
The resort extended sympathy to the family and friends of the much-loved local minister, whose death was being mourned throughout the Northeast Kingdom as word of his fatal accident spread.
“The Reverend John Snow, a Burke Mountain season pass holder was found yesterday at approximately 10:15 a.m. by ski patrol on an intermediate run where it appears he struck a tree. The ski patrol staff immediately treated Mr. Snow on site and requested ambulance transport to Northeast Vermont Regional Hospital. Mr. Snow was transported by ski patrol to our mid-mountain first aid building where he was transferred to the ambulance. At this time our thoughts, sympathies, and prayers go out to Reverend Snow, his family, and friends from all of our pass holders and staff who send their condolences at this difficult time.”
McGuire said that it took about a half-hour to get Snow off the mountain, using a sled, and that he had been unconscious when he was found in the snow by the member of the ski patrol.
“It’s really sad, it’s really unfortunate,” McGuire said of the tragedy.
Mountain officials knew Snow’s accident was serious, said McGuire. “He was on the side of the trail in the snow and it was apparent that he had likely hit a tree and it seemed like he might have been skiing alone, because no one had gone down to ski patrol.”
An ambulance was standing by to take him to NVRH at that point, said McGuire. “He was conscious and speaking with patrol when he was here and was taken away on an ambulance.”
McGuire said that Snow “had a head injury. He did have some cuts on his face. But there was also obviously evidence that he hurt his body as well. He also indicated chest pains. Resort staff hoped for the best as Snow headed off in the hands of the EMTs to the hospital.
Resort officials learned late Thursday that Snow did not make it after being taken to Dartmouth.
Rev. Snow had served earlier as the interim minister at the Lyndon Center Baptist Church, and was associate pastor at the Union Baptist Church in Waterford. He leaves his wife of 48 years.
“I had never skied with him myself, but he did ski here quite a bit,” said McGuire.
He said that Burke Mountain picked up about 10 inches of new snow on Thursday. “It was snowing all day,” he said and while the depth in the deeper snow is variable, the conditions were good and not icy at all on Thursday when the accident occurred.
On Friday, the Vermont State Police issued a statement on Rev. Snow’s accidental death, in which Det. Sgt. Jason Letourneau stated that he died from his injuries at 3:37 p.m. Snow was a resident of West Burke.
According to the police statement, “Snow sustained injuries to his face area and to his chest. Snow also sustained chest injuries causing trauma internally.” He was wearing both a helmet and goggles, police said, noting, “Snow was an avid skier who had skied at Burke Mountain several times.” The investigation is ongoing, but police said there is nothing suspicious, and ruled Snow’s death accidental.
Guibord Funeral Home in Lyndonville issued Snow’s obituary Friday. It notes a celebration of life service for Snow at the Union Baptist Church located on U.S. Route 5 south of St. Johnsbury at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 10. UBC Pastor Paul Powers will officiate the service
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