GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. – A snowboarder was found dead in an out-of-bounds area of Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort Monday night, investigators said.
Levi Krukowski, 18, of Portland was reported missing by his friends and then about an hour later, his body was found in a creek near the bottom of a waterfall.
“The creek was within the hazard area and required crossing the rope boundary to access,” said detective Matt English, Public Information Officer with the Hood River Sheriff’s Office. “He had been with friends when he went missing near an area marked as a hazard. The hazard area was marked with a rope.”
His family released a statement Tuesday:
"He loved many things, including snowboarding, family, friends, good food, animals and other outdoor sports," mother Linda Krukowski said. "He especially loved his family pets. His little dog will miss him very much. He was not in the practice of ducking/going outside boundary lines while snowboarding.
"We are all puzzled at the decision made yesterday. He was looking forward to many things in his life. He had many plans. We all loved his vigor for life. He could light up a room with his enthusiasm. He is dearly missed by his family and friends."
Members of the ski patrol followed tracks down to the bottom of Heather Canyon and found Krukowski's body. Investigators said it appeared that he had fallen approximately 40 feet into a snow crevasse and hit his head.
“As a result , Krukowski landed in the creek that was running through the bottom of the crevasse and was found partially submerged in the water,” English said.
Krukowski was wearing a helmet, according to investigators.
On Tuesday, ski resort officials said they wanted to extend their deepest condolences to Krukowski's family and friends.
“Our thoughts are with the family. A tragedy such as this comes so unexpected. We hope that the knowledge gained by others from this misfortune will prevent such a tragedy in the future,” said Dave Tragethon, Executive Director of Communications.
Although the death was being investigated as accidental, an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.