Fresno County Sheriff's release name of snowboarder who died at China Peak

Deep Snow Claims the Life of Snowboarder at China Peak, Many on the Mountain In

CHINA Peak - Update: We now know the name of the snowboarder who died at China Peak on Friday as Blake Smith, 36, of Fresno.


CHINA PEAK -- Avid snowboarders are in shock after the deep snow claimed the life of one of their own on Friday. Friday was China Peak's opening day.

Tyler McCauley found out when his dad called him.

 "He got on the phone and he was like 'thank goodness you are okay,'" said McCauley.

The unidentified 36 year old man was snow boarding at China Peak off the trail when he fell into deep snow.

 "He fell head first and he somehow couldn't clear himself up," said Tim Cohee, Owner of China Peak.

Tim Cohee said the man was there with friends but they got separated. They were at the bottom of the hill.

"A lot of times these things happen when people are up there by himself. This was not the case, he was with friends," said Cohee.

Cohee says by the time first responders got there, it was too late. They said the snowboarder was a season pass holder on an intermediate run.

"This is a tragic freak accident," said Cohee.

The last time an accident was in 2012. 30 year old Kynan Stanners got separated from friends and died when fell into deep snow.

He was riding down China Peak's Double Black Diamond. Officials say all of this serves a reminder to take extra precaution.

"Always stay close, always stay with friends and realize this kind of thing can happen," said Cohee.

Something Tyler McCauley says he can't take more seriously.

"It is an eye opener for snowboarders all around, that anything could happen."

The Sheriff's office said they will not release the victims name until Saturday.

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