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British skier, 68, dies after crashing into a tree while swerving to avoid a group of people at French resort

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  • Did YOU witness the fatal crash in Avoriaz? Email david.averre@mailonline.co.uk 

A British skier lost his life yesterday after a violent collision with a tree at the French ski resort of Avoriaz in Morzine.

The mountain rescue team was alerted to the accident at 3pm yesterday local time amid reports that a skier had left the piste and hit a tree at high speed after swerving to avoid a group of fellow skiers.

The as yet unidentified victim, believed to be 68 years of age, was found unresponsive by rescuers and despite their best efforts could not be resuscitated. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Avoriaz is one of 13 ski resorts located within the Portes du Soleil region, a top skiing destination for alpine enthusiasts the world over that covers parts of the French and Swiss Alps. 

Cityscape of the town of Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil in France

Cityscape of the town of Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil in France

Avoriaz is one of 13 ski resorts located within the Portes du Soleil region, a top skiing destination for alpine enthusiasts the world over that covers parts of the French and Swiss Alps.

Avoriaz is one of 13 ski resorts located within the Portes du Soleil region, a top skiing destination for alpine enthusiasts the world over that covers parts of the French and Swiss Alps.

It comes one month after another British skier plummeted to his death amid an ill-fated attempt to descend the notoriously difficult 'Swiss Wall' route in the Portes du Soleil area, close to Avoriaz

It comes one month after another British skier plummeted to his death amid an ill-fated attempt to descend the notoriously difficult ‘Swiss Wall’ route in the Portes du Soleil area, close to Avoriaz 

It comes one month after another British skier plummeted to his death amid an ill-fated attempt to descend the notoriously difficult ‘Swiss Wall’ route in the Portes du Soleil area, close to Avoriaz.

The route was closed at the time of the fatal fall due to icy conditions, but the skier was spotted heading towards the closed piste along with two other alpinists. 

The Swiss Wall, which begins at the French-Swiss border and descends into Switzerland, is famous for being one of the steepest and most difficult downhill runs in the world with a gradient of up to 76% in some places.

The 47-year-old skier, who lost control and tumbled down the side of the mountain, was pronounced dead at the scene on February 7.

A week prior, a 30-year-old British skier died at the Serre Chevalier resort in the La Salle-les-Alpes sector after suffering a ‘heavy fall’. 

First aid responders in the area at the time were the first to provide care for the skier before the French National Police (CRS) arrived and evacuated them.

France’s BFMTV said the skier was ‘in a state of brain death’ when they were transported to the Grenoble University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A British skier  died after a 'heavy fall' at a French in Hautes Alpes, France, in January

A British skier  died after a ‘heavy fall’ at a French in Hautes Alpes, France, in January

The accident involving the 30-year-old occurred at the Serre Chevalier resort in the La Salle-les-Alpes sector, reports said, and involved an Englishman who suffered a 'heavy fall'. Pictured: A snowboarder is seen at the Serre-Chevalier resort (file photo)

The accident involving the 30-year-old occurred at the Serre Chevalier resort in the La Salle-les-Alpes sector, reports said, and involved an Englishman who suffered a ‘heavy fall’. Pictured: A snowboarder is seen at the Serre-Chevalier resort (file photo)

‘The victim was discovered by a patroller who immediately raised the alarm,’ Patrick Arnaud – the boss of the ski resort – said, according to Le Dauphine.

‘Joined by several other trackers, they provided first aid. All the ski area teams are affected by this tragedy and all our thoughts are with the family,’ he added.

Marion Lozac’hmeur, the public prosecutor of the Hautes-Alpes department of Gap, said an investigation had been opened into the incident.

‘A judicial investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances of the accident. It is entrusted to the CRS Alpes,’ she said.

Also on January 29, around 40 miles away, a 63-year-old British man collapsed and died at the ski resort of La Plagne, Savoie, an alpine region in the southeast of France.

Officials said that the man had a heart attack and that he could not be resuscitated by the mountain rescue team. 

‘Emergency workers were at the scene extremely quickly, but the man could not be revived. He was declared dead by the Modane mountain aid station,’ a police spokesperson said.



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