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Officials ID man killed in tree well while snowboarding

March 1, 2021 GMT

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Flathead County officials have released the name of a man who died in a snowboarding accident just outside the boundary at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Matthew Gilman, 46, of Kalispell died Friday, Sheriff Brian Heino said Monday.

Gilman had been riding with friends in an out-of-bounds area and they planned to regroup inbounds, Heino said. When Gilman did not show up they called ski patrol at noon.

Ski patrollers found Gilman at about 1:30 p.m., partially buried in a tree well. He was taken to the clinic at the base of the ski hill and then by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy is planned.

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Tree wells are deep pits below the boughs of trees that can gather loose snow capable of burying a fallen skier.

Christine Johnson, a 21-year-old Montana State University student from Wisconsin, died of blunt force injuries after falling into a tree well while skiing at Bridger Bowl on Feb. 16, Gallatin County officials said.