2 teens on spring break killed in sledding accident in Colorado

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Two teens on spring break were killed Sunday night in a sledding accident in a closed area of Copper Mountain Ski Resort in central Colorado.

The teens reportedly were riding tandem down the halfpipe and went airborne off a large snowbank at the bottom, according to a Monday statement from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

“The two individuals came down hard on the hard ice below, causing blunt force trauma,” officials said, adding the coroner’s office will determine the official cause of death. The boys, 17 and 18, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The sledding incident happened around 8:30 p.m. MT, according to the sheriff’s office.

Copper Mountain Resort, which is near Breckenridge and is about 75 miles west of Denver, said in a statement that the halfpipe was closed and roped off at the time of the accident. Lift and trail access closes at 4 p.m., officials said.

The teens were seniors at Prairie Central High School in Fairbury, Illinois, according to the school district superintendent.

“Both were great students, talented athletes, and most importantly amazing people,” said Paula Crane, superintendent of Prairie Central Community Unit School District Number 8. “They were role models for all who knew them, especially our young athletes throughout the district. The Prairie Central Community continues to mourn their loss, and will support their families, our staff members, and our students throughout the grieving process.”

Copper Mountain President and General Manager Dustin Lyman said the entire team at the resort was deeply saddened by the teens’ deaths.

“Our most sincere condolences go out to the affected families and friends. We are also thankful to our local emergency responders, for their quick response and the medical assistance provided,” Lyman said.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing.