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Huntington Beach woman dies while snowboarding in Colorado

January 18, 2010 | 11:32 am

A Huntington Beach woman snowboarding in Colorado has died after apparently drowning in a creek when her helmet got caught between rocks, authorities said today.

Mary Scott King, 50, had been heli-skiing Saturday in the Mineral Creek Basin near Telluride. She was following a group of skiers downhill when she “started sliding backward and fell into a creek,” said San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters.

A guide who was skiing behind King tried to pull her out of the water, which was covered in snow and ice. Initially the guide could not see why the victim would not come free. Another guide came to her aid and within about 10 minutes, they succeeded in pulling her out and administered CPR.

“But she was breathless and pulseless at the time they began,” Masters said. “It was a kind of freak accident.”

About half the people who ski in the area wear helmets, Masters said, and it was unclear if it was a requirement to wear them while heli-skiing, which refers to skiers who are taken to the top of a slope by helicopter rather than a ski lift, enabling them to have a more backcountry experience.

The area was not particularly steep, but it was unclear how much experience King had with snowboarding.

“She was probably fairly accomplished,” Masters said. “She certainly was not a beginner.”

-- Ching-Ching Ni

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