Wind gust is to blame in death |

Wind gust is to blame in death

F.T. Norton

WASHOE LAKE – A man was killed Sunday afternoon in a kiteboarding accident at Washoe Lake.

The 45-year-old Truckee man was attempting to kiteboard around 4:30 p.m. near the North Boat Ramp at Washoe Lake State Park when a gust of wind caught the kite and lifted him about a 100 feet into the air, said Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Felter.

He said the victim was attached to the kite, but had not yet locked onto his board when the wind gusted.

He died at the scene after striking a vehicle and landing in the dock’s parking lot. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Felter said the man and a friend had been at the lake for about three hours when the accident occurred.

According to, kiteboarding – also known as kitesurfing – is when a rider uses a large kite, similar to a parachute, to pull himself across water, snow or sand.

Felter said Washoe Lake is a popular location for the sport, which began in the early 1980s.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Brong said winds in Washoe Valley were clocked at 27 mph with gusts of 38 mph at 4 p.m. Winds were southwest at 27 mph with gusts of 30 mph at 4:30 p.m., he said.

Trucks and trailers were advised to use alternate routes through the valley at that time.

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