A woman has died in a freak snowboarding accident on a family ski holiday in Austria.
Retired teacher Sandra Thompson, 59, from Hampshire, was on holiday at the popular Kitzbuhel resort when she hit her head during 'an innocuous little fall' in front of her family.
The former teacher, who was wearing a helmet, died two days later from a severe brain swelling after her family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine.
Four other people have been killed in two separate incidents near Washington state ski resorts this weekend.
Three skiers died in an avalanche near Stevens Pass, in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle, just after noon on Sunday.
The men were Freeskiing World Tour head judge Jim Jack, Stevens Pass director of marketing Chris Rudolph and skier John Brenan according to ESPN.
The avalanche, which apparently occurred in an out-of-bounds area, swept the experienced skiers about a quarter-mile down a canyon but a fourth skier who was with them was saved by a safety device.
The men who died were swept 1,500 feet down a chute in the Tunnel Creek Canyon area.
The centre said there had been heavy snowfall over the last few days.
Sgt Cindi West, of the King County Sheriff"s Office, said a snowboarder was also killed going over a cliff at the Alpental ski area east of Seattle in a separate incident.
Monday, February 20, 2012