6 Aug 2010

Snowboarder fourth death at Mt Hutt this season

8:11 pm on 6 August 2010

A snowboarder has died after suffering severe head injuries at Mt Hutt, the fourth fatality at the South Island ski field this season.

The 31-year-old from Christchurch was on his first run when he tripped at the bottom of the Triple Chairlift and slid 200 to 300 metres down the hill on Friday morning.

Mt Hutt ski area manager Dave Wilson says a doctor stabilised the critically-injured man at the scene and he was flown by helicopter soon after to a Christchurch hospital, where he later died.

Mr Wilson told Checkpoint it is unclear what caused the fall, but the man slid down the ski boundary area. He says the snowboarder was not wearing a helmet, but it is hard to tell if that would have made a difference.

Staff will investigate whether the installation of barriers on the trail could have prevented the death.

In an unrelated incident, another man was also airlifted from the ski field with head and back injuries and remains in a stable condition in hospital.

The run will be closed until at least Saturday as investigations by the ski field, police and the Department of Labour are carried out.