Update, 2/18/19 at 3:00 p.m.
An autopsy performed Monday, February 18, 2019, revealed Johnathan Patrick Likeke Walker, 23, died of suffocation following a skiing accident on Mt. Ashland on Saturday.
During the investigation, deputies learned that Walker was skiing in a group of three Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol members. Walker was the last of the group to descend the hill. The others looked back to find that Walker had skied into a tree well and had become trapped upside down in the snow. They climbed back up the steep hill and worked to free Walker from the snow, but he was not breathing. Efforts to resuscitate Walker by ski patrol members, as well as by medical personnel at the ski area, continued for approximately two hours.
Update, 2/17/19 at 10:35 a.m.
The decedent in Saturday’s incident on Mt. Ashland was identified as Johnathan Patrick Likeke Walker, 23. Walker lived and worked locally, but lived previously in Yakima, Wash. The autopsy has been postponed until Monday.
Original release, 2/16/19 at 8:10 p.m.:
ASHLAND, Ore. – A 23-year-old man died Saturday afternoon after reportedly colliding with a tree while skiing on Mt. Ashland. He was a member of the Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol.
On February 16, 2019, at 1:31 p.m., dispatch received a 911 call reporting a skiing accident on the south side of the mountain, outside the boundaries of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies responded to the ski area, along with personnel from Ashland Fire & Rescue.
Deputies learned the victim was among a group of Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol members skiing in the back country. The victim’s fellow ski patrol members rendered aid and transported him back up the slope to the ski area. Medical personnel continued resuscitation until he was pronounced dead at 3:37 p.m.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause and manner of death. An autopsy is planned for Sunday.
The victim’s next-of-kin has been notified. His name will be released at a later time to allow additional family to be notified.