In three separate incidents, two hikers were rescued and one skier tragically died in New England over the past few days.
A 68-year-old Quebec man died in a ski accident at Jay Peak resort in Vermont. According to Vermont State Police, Bruce Charron of Montreal West lost a ski and crashed into trees on Sunday. He was treated by emergency personnel but died at the resort.
The state police have opened an investigation and are asking people who witnessed the accident to contact them. Jay Peak is just south of the Canada-U.S. border, about 130 kilometres southeast of Montreal.
Over the past two decades, Charron helped raise nearly $4 million for the foundation associated with the Montreal Children’s Hospital. His death comes one day before the hospital had planned to surprise him at his house on Monday night with a special plaque in honour of his continued efforts.
“We were planning the surprise for him this evening to let Bruce know he was winning an award of excellence for community leadership and volunteer work at the Children’s,” said Valerie Frost, director of donor relations at the Montreal Children’s Foundation.
“His wife, his kids, his friends — they were all planning the surprise with us so he was the only one who didn’t know.”
Two hikers were injured in separate incidents while hiking ice-covered trails on Mount Major in Alton, New Hampshire on the weekend.
Matthew McGaunn, 19, suffered a serious head injury and was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., New Hampshire Fish and Game officials said in a statement.
McGaunn, who was hiking with a group from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Outdoor Adventure Program, lost his footing and slid about 60 metres off a trail, according to the statement.
“We are grateful to all who helped get Matthew McGaunn to safety following his injury during a hike on Mount Major,” university officials said in a statement. “The university community will do all we can to assist as he recovers.”
It took rescue crews several hours to bring McGaunn down the mountain “due to the off trail location, along with steep and icy conditions,” the statement said.
A second hiker, Emily Field, 26, slipped and fell on an icy trail and sustained a non-life threatening injury, according to the statement.
While being helped down the trail, conservation officers noticed and drove her on a four-wheel vehicle to the trail head. There, she was evaluated by medical staff, but opted to leave and seek treatment on her own, the statement said.
The pair of rescues prompted officials to urge hikers to pack winter gear, including appropriate footwear and ice traction devices to ensure their safety, according to the statement.