FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Santa Barbara County Fire Department firefighter has been identified by authorities as the skier who died after crashing into a tree at China Peak on Saturday.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, deputies responded to the China Peak Mountain Resort for a report of an injured skier.
Officials say Santa Barbara firefighter, Joseph De Anda, 33 of San Luis Obispo, had crashed into a tree while skiing and was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to deputies, De Anda was traveling down a ski run with friends when he struck a tree. Officials say although he was wearing a helmet, “his injuries were too significant and he was not able to survive.”
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said in a Facebook post on Sunday that De Anda started at their department in 2020 with years of experience as both a paramedic and county dispatcher.
“Joey will be remembered for his positive attitude and hard worth ethic,” the post states. “Joey made lasting relationships with everyone he came in contact with. Joey was the example that if you put your heart and mind into something, you can accomplish anything.”
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says they are working with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to make sure De Anda, “receives proper honors” before he is transported back to his home on the Central Coast.