Skier Killed at Wachusett


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  1. #1

    Skier Killed at Wachusett

    The Boston TV channels reporting tonite that an 18-yr old girl was killed last night at Mt. Wachusett in Princeton, MA when she collided with another skier and went off the 10th Mountain Trail headfirst into a tree. The TV report said she had already skied 10th Mountain approximately ten times that night, but apparently got out of control somehow. This young woman was a skier with 4 years of experience, but she was not wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, this happens a few times every winter, and it's always a tragedy, especially with such a young person..........

  2. #2
    Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Thomaston, CT
    Some more info:
    Quote Originally Posted by
    Skier Dies After Hitting Tree At Wachusett
    Officials Believe Crash Was Tragic Accident

    POSTED: 1:44 PM EST January 8, 2004
    UPDATED: 2:24 PM EST January 8, 2004

    PRINCETON, Mass. -- A Hubbardston, Mass., teenager has died after hitting a tree while skiing.

    Police say Rebecca Doane, 18, was night skiing at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton around 7 p.m Wednesday when she crashed into a tree.

    She was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., where she was pronounced dead.

    Worcester County District Attorney John Conte and Princeton Police are investigating the crash said that Doane's death was probably a tragic accident.

    How sad.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  3. #3
    The Boston news channels covered this as a main story tonight. UPN 38 included an interview with a skier who stressed something we've been talking about in the other topic--giving skiers ahead of you plenty of room. While Fox 25 hyped up the danger of skiing, UPN 38 kept it in perspective, throwing out a fact that each year, only 3 of 1,000 skiers are injured.

  4. #4
    That really sucks and I hate to hear about such a thing especially to someone so young. Truely sad. My heart goes out to the parents. Jeez.

    But one must realize that no matter what you do, how safe you are, these type of things will happen. It is part of life and living. Sking is a fairly safe sport, hardly anyone is ever killed. Accidental death cannot be totally eliminated in anything you do.

    It is especially upsetting to hear that Fox continues to hype death and fear in the media. This is a serious contributing problem with our society today. Hype the fear and make money off the interest. Show the all black guys getting arrested, etc. Same old story. Watch Micheal Moore's Bowling movie and see why Canada has an absurdly lower murder rate than the US.

    Oh and I'll also note the whole helmet law deal. How much more could you illustrate that while everyone should wear a helmet, a 11-12 year old law would be not all that useful nor would it have necessarily prevented it. Most kids will want to get rid of the helmet they've been forced to wear. Most kids will also likely outgrow their 11-12 year old helmet by 18 years and not get a new one. Sure, some may get the point and continue to wear it but I doubt that figure is any more or less than the numbers of people that already do wear it regardless.

    Everyone should wear the helmet just as you should bucklet up, especially near your house. Most accidents happen closer to your house they say. I thought I read that this teen that was killed had actually been down the same trail more than a few times that day. Perhaps she was not wearing her helmet because it was soo cold. Perhaps there is simply some reckless behavior involved somewhere and a helmet might not even done anything. You go face first in a tree at hight speed, not much going to help you there.

    And I was thinking of not wearing mine this weekend.

  5. #5

    Very sad

    Very sad and tragic.

    I am totally guessing that this was a head injury, and at the same time, I'm defending the right to decide as to wear a helmet or not.

    The "packs" at Mt Wachusett scare me. I love riding my motorcycle in a group, where we all share the road and enjoy the sound of all those engines whirring away in harmony.. but when I'm on skis I want as much room around me as I can get. lately at WaWa I have noticed that there is almost a "wave" like situation where a whole "pack" of boarders/skiers all bomb down the hill together with very little spacing, (like less than 10 feet) between many of them.. and at real speed too.. not slow at all.

    Sometimes I wait minutes before I find a spacing situation where I feel comfortable pushing off and feeling like I have some "breathing" room in front and in back of me.

    Prayer for the young lady..and her parents tonight.

  6. #6
    it does not surprise me that fox25 had a fear inspiring piece about danger. it appauls me that news has become entertainment. that news execs devised a strategy that keeping people glued to their TV out of fear increases viewship and thus the bottom line. for-profit news media is probably one of the worst aspects of our culture currently. it's worse than the victors writing history as they see fit with cultural bias. now, the rich can write todays news as they sit fit... omitting facts and hyping circumstances (deceiving people esseentially) simply to increase profit.

    regarding fear on TV and in the media, the best way to deal with this is to get rid of your TV. no, seriously! you can't watch much TV without seeing some fear mongering. just over a year ago, i decided no more TV. now, when i'm in a bar or shopping mall and see a TV news channel, it honestly shocks and appauls me what people look at every single day. the other day, from a bar... i saw the news covering iraq... they were showing tanks, and soldiers with guns, shooting, people running, fear, etc. and it's not so much the actual images (although they are disturbing and quite unneeded), but rather the presentation.

    back on topic, it seems like the wachusett death got more publicity than the one at loon. it's closer to metro boston, but still... both areas are popular and over crowded with boston folk. i don't recall any season in which there were two on piste deaths in new england during the same season (excluding natural causes, i'm talking spinal/cranial impact here). perhaps i'm just forgetful.
    -Steve "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  7. #7
    Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Thomaston, CT
    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il
    regarding fear on TV and in the media, the best way to deal with this is to get rid of your TV. no, seriously! you can't watch much TV without seeing some fear mongering.
    Agreed, but I don't exactly think you need to toss your TV out the window. Just be sure you always have your "hype filter" on. Remember all the flu talk last month? I laughed at all the people with probably common cold viruses complaining, "ohhhh....I have the flu.....". Now you need to worry about Big Macs and getting either mad cow disease or a hypodermic needle in your tongue.

    It must have been interesting to see how the two channels covered the story differently. Nevertheless, my thoughts go out to Rebecca's friends and family.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  8. #8
    To expand further on the Fox 25 news coverage, they listed the high-profile skier deaths including Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy.

  9. #9
    Thoughts for the family. It is sad.

    Loon, West, Whiteface and now WaWa! Either in a terrain park or Blue Square rated trail. All within a month! I don't ever remember this many fatilities on the slopes i such a short period. How much of a factor is the snow conditions? The trail- are people bombing down the Blues and losing control?

    I agree the reporting is terrible. (RC- I do watch the boob-tube, but avoid the news- as you pointed out, too sensationalistic.) What I see happening is under reporting the skiing accidents- at least in print. If they don't have the facts, the press should wait until they do. The West Mtn accident article in the Albany Times Union just stated the man was skiing with his son, fell and died. So, we're left wondering if it was head tramua, stroke, heart attack?

    On another board someone mentioned "the inherent risk of living". (You RC?) A very true and accurate statement. Tough to accept at times, but true nevertheless.


  10. #10
    I was at Wachusett last night, Thursday 1/8/04. There was a considerable amount of (very) hard pack on most of the trails I skied. I did not ski the 10th mountain trail because I did not make it to the summit. I was skiing with some of the students, our first school trip of the year, and many of them are not ready for the summit yet.

    To my understanding, that trail was closed for the remainder of the night after the tragedy. I also heard that it was closed last night. Knowing that trail, while it does turn to an intermediate level trail right about where the accident occured, the part above that is Wachusett's toughest terrain. It is generally covered with bumps on the skier's left side of the trail but groomed and generally not bumpy on the skier's right.

    You can get some real speed on the upper part of this trail. It is followed by a brief flat section, where the trail crosses the mountain's summertime auto road. I guess this is also used for a trail too. After this the trail has a sudden drop off and a turn. If you are going fast when you hit this area you will catch air. I do not know if Becca got air, but from what I have heard she was going very fast on the top section and was out of control. From what I know she lost control on the diamond run which fed directly into the blue run. She was not able to regain control before colliding with another skier and she went head first into a pine tree at the edge of the trail (at the top of the blue trail). She was not wearing a helmet.

    Snow guns were blasting last night and made the visibility very poor. I do not know if the same was true for the night of the accident, but I would imagine so, since this is really the first good snowmaking weather we have had here in a while.

    Becca was in the music program and several musicals with my niece at Quabbin Regional High School in Barre, MA. I believe she also played in the community band that I am a member of for a couple years, but did not do so last summer or the summer before. She was a nice, well rounded young lady which makes this tragedy even greater.
    Born to ski, forced to work.
    I\'ve used all of my sick days so I\'m calling in dead.

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