South Lake Tahoe teen dies after ski accident
Emily Clothier, a 14-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident, died Thursday after a ski accident at Heavenly Mountain Resort, authorities said.
Clothier, who was a competitive ski racer in the region, apparently died from blunt-force trauma from hitting a tree, although an exact cause of death was pending, said El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Les Lovell.
The accident happened at about 1:30 p.m. on the Nevada side of the ski resort, where the girl skied off the Stagecoach trail, Heavenly officials said.
The girl was wearing a helmet and was training with the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation, Lovell said. She was found by her coach, who was skiing about one minute behind her, he added.
“Heavenly ski patrol personnel were in the area and on the scene almost immediately,” said Heavenly spokesman Russ Pecoraro. “Ski patrol transported her to Heavenly’s Boulder base.”
Clothier received medical treatment at the scene, then was taken by CALSTAR helicopter to Barton Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:39 p.m., Lovell said.
The resort has begun a routine investigation of the accident, Pecoraro said.
Clothier was a freshman at South Tahoe High and was a member of the school’s ski team. She helped the team to a second-place finish at the NIAA State Skiing Championships earlier this month at Mount Rose.
She also was a key runner on the freshman cross-country team, helping the Vikings to a ninth-place finish at the Woodbridge Invitational last September.
Mike Shreve, Clothier’s coach on the high school ski team, was among friends and family members who gathered Thursday evening to comfort Clothier’s parents, Steve and Patti, and her sister, 10-year-old Mikaela.
Shreve, who was not with Clothier at Heavenly on Thursday, described the teen as “a delight.”
“She was key in bringing the team spirit into our ski team,” Shreve said. “Her excitement motivated others to do better.”
Clothier was beyond her years in her ability to communicate, Shreve said, and yet she “still knew how to be a 14-year-old.”
“She was a great blend: loved by her peers, admired by her little sister – definitely a family-oriented young lady,” he said.