A 15-year-old snowboarder who was found dead Tuesday on Vancouver Island's Mount Washington Alpine Resort was in a hole on an ungroomed run, says a B.C. coroner.
"Initial indications are that the hole might be the result of a tree that ... may have been pulled out," said Matt Brown, regional coroner for Vancouver Island. "He was unfortunately found in the bottom of it."
Brown said the teenager was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
The coroner's office said it's working with the resort to determine if more can be done to mark the terrain for other skiers and snowboarders.
Mount Washington director of operations Don Sharpe says the tragedy comes as a shock for staff.
"We're all a bit sad, a bit shaken up," he said. "It's nothing compared to the family, which must be just tragic for them."
He said it's the first ski or snowboard death in his 15 years at the hill.
Teenager still unnamed
The boy, who hasn't been officially named yet, was a Grade 10 student at a high school in Saanich, B.C. The school has made grief counsellors available for students, who are currently on their winter holiday break.
Searchers on snowmobiles discovered the boy at about 11 p.m. PT Tuesday evening, BC Coroner Barbara McLintock said in an email.
The volunteer searchers began looking for the teen shortly after 5 p.m. after he failed to appear up at the base of the mountain as planned.
RCMP returned to the mountain with the BC Coroners Service on Wednesday morning to take a "better look in daylight conditions," McLintock said.