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Skiing accident claims life of boy, 17; Injuries suffered at Wachusett Mt.

Byline: Jean Laquidara Hill

PRINCETON - A 17-year-old boy from Westport died yesterday afternoon from injuries suffered in a skiing accident Sunday morning at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.

Andrew Dumont, 17, of 12 Ivy Meadow Lane, Westport, was seriously injured about 11:40 a.m. Sunday while skiing on an intermediate trail at the ski area, Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester district attorney's office, said yesterday.

David I. Crowley, general manager for Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, said later yesterday that the boy, a senior at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, had died at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus, Worcester, yesterday afternoon.

"He went out of control on Lower Balance Rock Trail," Mr. Connolly said yesterday. "He did lose control and went off the trail and into the woods," he said, adding that he apparently struck a tree. Mr. Connolly said emergency services were provided to the teen by the Wachusett Mountain Ski Patrol before he was taken to the hospital in Worcester and admitted to the intensive care unit.

State troopers assigned to the Worcester district attorney's office are investigating the incident, as is the district attorney's usual practice with serious accidents and unattended deaths.

"As far as we know, the young man was skiing and he went off the trail and he hit a tree," Mr. Crowley said. He described the young man as well-liked and respected among students at Diman Regional, where he was a member of the school's hockey team. Mr. Crowley said he believed Andrew was skiing with his family at the time of the accident.

Mr. Crowley said there did not seem to have been any incident or skier interference involved in the accident.

"Our ski traffic was moderate to light," Mr. Crowley said. The ski surface was machine-groomed with snow depths of 30 to 42 inches at the time of the accident, he said.

The Wachusett Mountain Ski Patrol responded to the accident, taking the injured teenager down from the mountain to a base first aid facility. From there, he was taken by Advanced Life Support ambulance, Med Star, to Leominster Hospital and then transferred by Life Flight helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus.

"There's a certain amount of risk in skiing," Mr. Crowley said, adding that Wachusett Mountain ski staff tries to provide the safest ski conditions.

"He paid the ultimate price," Mr. Crowley said.

"This is a very sad time for the ski patrol," he said. "They had a very difficult time, and I'm sure his family is having a difficult time."

He said it was the fourth fatal accident on the mountain in the past 25 years.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 18, 2008
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