Montreal

Snowboarder dies in accident at Mont Lac-Vert ski resort

Provincial police have confirmed that Maxime Côté-Girard, 22, died on Friday at the Mont Lac-Vert ski resort in Hébertville, Que., and that he wasn't wearing a helmet.

Victim is 22-year-old Maxime Côté-Girard, from Alma, Que.

22-year-old Maxime Côté-Girard, from Alma, Que., died in a snowboarding accident at the Mont Lac-Vert ski resort on Friday. (Facebook)

Provincial police are confirming the snowboarder who died on Friday at a ski resort in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region was 22-year-old Maxime Côté-Girard, from Alma, Que..

Côté-Girard died after a fall in the snow park of the Mont Lac-Vert ski resort in Hébertville, located 200 kilometres north of Quebec City.

The accident occurred in the resort's snow park around 1 p.m. Friday.

The director of the Mont Lac-Vert ski resort, Sandra Fortin, extended her condolences to the man's family.

"The whole Mont Lac-Vert team is deeply saddened by this tragedy," Fortin said in a statement.

Safety precautions

The Sûreté du Québec is investigating to determine what happened, but confirmed Côté-Girard was not wearing a helmet.

On Saturday, the Quebec Ski Area Association (ASSQ) released a statement asking skiers and snowboarders to take precautions.

The ASSQ said helmets have been mandatory in snow parks since 2007, in specific areas where rails and jumps are installed.

Safety signs, like this one at Ski Saint-Bruno, are installed at the entrance of snow parks across Quebec, indicating that helmets are mandatory. (CBC)

The association's president Yves Juneau said teams will be touring ski resorts in the coming weeks to raise awareness around safety gear, also reminding people to make sure their equipment is well adjusted.

Nonetheless, he said, the most important aspect of downhill snow sports is to always remain in control.

"A helmet is an important safety item, but it won't make anybody invincible," said Juneau.

Juneau said 80 per cent of people now wear helmets on ski hills. 

Michel Couture, the president of Ski Saint-Bruno, in the Montérégie region, said he believes those numbers will continue to climb.

"Even today I was looking around and 95 per cent of people have helmets," Couture said. 

"It's really comfortable even for the temperature, and for safety. It's gear that you want to have when you're going up on the mountain," Couture said, also noting that helmets "don't make you bulletproof."

The ASSQ also advised skiers to respect regulations and to be careful in chairlifts — this following the death of a 15-year-old girl on Wednesday, who jumped from a chairlift at a ski resort in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec. 

The girl died after landing on a rock covered in snow.