2nd Death at Whitefish Mountain Resort this Season - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

2nd Death at Whitefish Mountain Resort this Season

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What authorities are calling a tragic accident at Whitefish Mountain Resort this weekend marks the second tree well related death of the season, and fourth on the slopes in three years. More than 6,000 people came out to Whitefish Mountain over the weekend, but as FOX Montana's Parker Collins found out, things went wrong in just a matter of hours.

48-year-old Thomas Podivinsky of Calgary, Alberta was skiing on the backside of Whitefish Mountain Resort around noon on Sunday when he got separated from a friend. After waiting at the bottom of the run, the rest of Podivinsky's party notified ski patrol who discovered him in a tree well in the area between the Hollywood and Silvertip runs under chair seven.  Ski patrol was unable to revive him. Emergency responders and resort personnel are calling the incident a tragic accident, but say there is an inherent risk in downhill skiing, and Podivinsky's death is not the first of it's kind at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says, "Is a couple of deaths unusual? While they're very tragic, I wouldn't necessarily say it's unusual." 

Podivinsky's death is similar to that of a 54-year-old California man who was skiing at Whitefish Resort just over a month ago on January 11th.  Douglas Spring was skiing with his son in an ungroomed area between the Bighorn and Gray Wolf runs when he fell into a tree well.  Curry says Spring died of suffocation.  


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