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Kansas college student dies in ski accident

A spring break student from Kansas State University died Saturday morning as a result of an accident at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Garret Austin Spencer, 19, of Hesston, Kans., was at the ski area with friends Saturday morning and was making either his first or second run of the day when he fell and slid into a tree at approximately 10 a.m., according to Davey Pitcher of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

According to Mineral County Coroner Charles Downing, Spencer fell and slid into an island of trees in the middle of the Kelly Boyce run at the ski area.

An autopsy performed at the El Paso County Coroner’s Office in Colorado Springs revealed the cause of death to be blunt force injuries due to the accident, Downing said Tuesday.

Downing explained that Spencer sustained numerous broken bones, including ribs and back, as well as some internal injuries, with the injuries primarily located in his neck and lower back.

Ambulance crews from Pagosa Springs and South Fork responded to the scene and Spencer was attended to at the area. A flight for life helicopter was summoned, but was turned back when it was determined that Spencer had succumbed to his injuries.

Coroners from both Mineral and Rio Grande County also responded to the incident, with the Rio Grande coroner serving as a transport for the body.

Karl Isberg contributed to this report.

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