Friday, March 15, 2013

Skier dies after accident on Baldy

Authorities say woman, 38, collided with a tree

Express Staff Writer

A 38-year-old female skier died Wednesday, March 13, after she was found unresponsive near the Roundhouse Lane ski track on Bald Mountain.

Blaine County Coroner Russ Mikel said Melanie Kendall, of Hailey, was skiing alone prior to being found by other skiers just before 4 p.m.

Though there were no witnesses to the accident, and Kendall never regained consciousness to recount what happened, Mikel said the reports he received indicated that Kendall collided with a tree.

Ketchum Fire Department Chief Mike Elle said CPR was administered first by the Sun Valley Ski Patrol and then by paramedics who took Kendall from River Run Lodge to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Wood River. Elle said his team also provided more advanced life-saving efforts on Kendall while she was in the ambulance.

Mikel said Kendall was pronounced dead in the St. Luke’s emergency room at 4:40 p.m. from “presumed trauma from striking a tree.”

Sun Valley Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said Kendall was wearing a helmet, but he declined to provide any more details about where or how the accident occurred.

Mikel said an autopsy has been ordered but will take at least eight weeks.

Kendall’s mother-in-law, Jean Kendall, described her Thursday as “a little burst of sunshine” whose death is “a tragedy for us all.” 

Services for the mother of four and wife to John Kendall were pending Thursday.  

In a separate incident Tuesday afternoon at Dollar Mountain, a 4-year-old boy fell a short distance off the Quarter Dollar lift as he approached the end of the lift. Sibbach said the boy was shaken but not seriously hurt.

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