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Two Illinois high school students were killed in a sledding accident during spring break in Colorado, school officials said.
Male students were only identified by age, 17 and 18. They were students at Prairie Central High School in Fairbury, Ill., school administrators said.
They were riding in tandem on the halfpipe at the Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Summit County when they threw a large snow bank at the bottom, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said.
The crash at Copper Mountain, a resort less than 80 miles west of Denver, happened around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, ski resort officials said.
Copper Mountain said in a statement that there was a “sledding area” but activity was otherwise prohibited in several areas.
The halfpipe closes at 4 p.m. each day, and the feature is off-limits to sledders at all times, in any event, the resort said.
“Safety is the top priority at Copper Mountain, and we ask our guests to please obey posted signs and warnings and stay off trails and closed areas,” he said. “Copper Mountain closes all lift and trail access at 4 p.m. daily, including the halfpipe, which was closed and bounded at the time of the incident.
They hit hard ice, the sheriff’s office said, according to an NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver, and were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Summit County Coroner’s Office was to determine the cause of death.
Dustin Lyman, president and general manager of the resort, said in a statement that “the entire Copper Mountain team is deeply saddened by this tragic incident.”