A Ski Santa Fe employee died on the mountain Saturday after hitting a tree.
Bryan Garcia, a 22-year-old Phoenix native, recently moved to Santa Fe to work in equipment rentals at the ski basin, said Sloan Simpson, the sister of Garcia’s best friend and roommate.
Garcia was skiing while on break between shifts when the accident happened.
Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies were sent to the ski basin around 2 p.m., and Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Garcia’s roommate, Evan Simpson, created a GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/f/bryan-garcia-memorial-fund) to support Garcia’s mother, father and three sisters.
“His wisdom and light was beyond his years,” Evan Simpson wrote on the page. “He was incredibly kind and intelligent. He was beautiful inside and out and touched the hearts and lives of every person that he met.”
Ashley Ortiz, who works at Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos, said that while the hospital is still working through the pandemic, she has seen an uptick in winter sports-related trauma injuries since the state’s ski basins opened Dec. 5.
“We had a full house in the ER the other day with a lot of snow-related injuries,” Ortiz said. “For people who have been skiing forever, accidents still happen. We all need to take extra caution to not put ourselves in potential unfortunate situations.”