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Snowboarder dies in crash on Whiteface Mountain

March 20, 2014
Staff , Lake Placid News

A Rochester area man died after crashing off a trail while snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center this past weekend.

Austin P. White, 22, of Hemlock, was riding down the Excelsior trail with a group of snowboarders and skiers, including his sister, around noon Sunday, March 16 when he "ran off the trail unexpectedly and into a group of trees," said Jennifer Fleishman, spokeswoman for Ray Brook-based state police Troop B.

White struck his head on a tree and fell, Fleishman said. He was not wearing a helmet. He also suffered a broken arm in the crash.

A friend of White's called 911 to report the accident, Fleishman said, and the call was answered by Essex County 911 at 12:03 p.m.

Fleishman said other skiers came upon the scene and started CPR, which was taken over by ski patrol.

White was taken to the bottom of the mountain by toboggan. He was transported by Wilmington rescue to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where he was pronounced dead at 1:12 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled to take place today at the hospital to determine White's cause of death.

Fleishman said there's nothing to indicate that trail conditions or excessive speed were factors in the crash. She said it appears to be accidental.

The Excelsior trail is an intermediate-level trail at Whiteface. Fleishman said White's sister described him as an experienced snowboarder.

White was a senior at the state University of New York College at Brockport, where he was studying exercise science. He was scheduled to graduate in May. Family members tell Rochester-area media that White was in the Adirondacks for spring break.



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