A 38-year-old Centennial man was killed Sunday when he skied into a tree at Keystone Ski Resort in Summit County. The skier was wearing a helmet but died of blunt-force trauma to his chest at about 11 a.m., Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson said. Bender was on an intermediate blue trail called Prospector on North Peak at Keystone.


This skier, Sean Jared Bender, is the fourth skier killed in Colorado this season, two of which died because of avalanches:
Kyle Shellberg, 32, of Golden died Dec. 5 when he was buried for about 20 minutes after he triggered a backcountry slide at Dry Gulch in Clear Creek County.
Ski-patrol director Scott Kay was killed Nov. 22 at Wolf Creek Ski Area during work to reduce the potential for dangerous avalanches in the in-bounds area.
On Dec. 3, a 22-year-old off-duty Aspen Skiing Co. employee, Kiera Tongish of Aspen, died when she struck a tree at the resort.
Bender is the first person killed at Keystone since March 2008, when Michael Howe, 43, of Andover, Kan., skied into a tree, marking the fourth death at the resort that season when a record 17 skiers and snowboarders were killed on Colorado slopes.

Categories: Ski Safety, Ski Safety News & Advice Tags: ,
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  • I Miss Sean, and I know Lauren Misses Kyle too. What was behind the trees and avalanches were their wives and 9 month old babies. Lauren and I met when we were both devastated by our losses. It will be 5 years this season and wow, still kills me. He should have been here when she went to school for the first time. He should see her smile. Instead, she goes to school, and I hear her say, My Dad is dead, he hit a tree in Colorado. I was a baby in Colorado. This IS NOT DISNEY WORLD. Even the most experienced skiers’/riders are not immune. As Sean said, ‘you can get hit by a car, there is no difference in risk’, told his mother that 24 hrs before he died hitting a tree. BTW, he didn’t just hit the tree and left this world, it took a while, he thought he was hurt enough to take a break but didn’t want the ‘season’ to end. We held his respects in Vail, it snowed vehemently and it was amazing conditions, unlike the week before. It STILL SUCKS

    MARIA BENDER

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