Man dies while skiing at The Canyons |

Man dies while skiing at The Canyons

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A 36-year-old Jeremy Ranch man died Monday afternoon after apparently striking a tree while skiing at The Canyons.

Patrollers at the resort began searching for Jason Coles, a season-pass holder at The Canyons, when he was reported missing after he did not meet as expected with friends on the hill, the authorities said.

"He had been skiing with some friends and had gotten separated," said Todd Burnette, a vice president at The Canyons. "They had spoken via cell phone and had arranged a meeting place and he didn’t show up."

A ski patroller found the man’s body at roughly 4:15 p.m. about 40 feet off a run near a tree on the Peak 5 lift at The Canyons, Burnette said.

The patroller performed CPR but Coles died at the scene, he added.

"It’s a wooded area, which means the terrain has a variety of trees and obviously is not perfectly flat. There are rocks and dirt," Summit County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Alan Siddoway said. "I believe that it was purely an accident and there was not a precipitating event prior to the accident In the last few years we’ve dealt with similar situations probably three or four times."

According to Burnette, "his trauma-type injuries were consistent with somebody running into something."

Coles was from the Rochester, N.Y. area and married his wife Laurie about two years ago. He was an attorney who met Laurie while the couple studied law at Brigham Young University.

Coles has a 2-month-old daughter named Lily, said Lolly Seal, the man’s mother-in-law in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"Jason was not a member of the (LDS) Church but he wanted very much to marry Laurie, so he joined the church," Seal said. "He’s been such a wonderful companion for her. He is a brilliant young man who traveled to every state in the United States and all over the world."

Her daughter was struggling to deal with her husband’s death, Seal said.

"He snowshoed out his backdoor, and they had been skiing all day Saturday and went out again Monday," the mother-in-law explained.

"He was a very loving daddy to their brand new baby," Seal said tearfully. "They are both very bright people, devoted to each other and devoted to the Church."

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