A member of the Mount Ashland, OR ski patrol team passed away on Saturday after falling into a tree well.
Johnathan “Johnny” Patrick Likeke Walker, 23, was skiing behind 2 other ski patrollers at the time of the accident. His fellow ski patrol members were aware of the accident, and climbed back up the slope, dug him out and started first aid as additional emergency responders were called to the scene.
He was pronounced dead at 3:37 pm.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the official cause and manner of death.
Official Statement from Mt. Ashland:
In loving memory of Mt. Ashland Ski Patroller Johnny Walker
Yesterday, Mt. Ashland lost one of their brightest and best Ski Patrollers in a tragic ski accident involving a tree well.
Johnny Walker was a Man of the Mountains, strong in the outdoors and many other areas of his life. He was a core member of the Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol and a leader. His impact on the mountain extended far beyond his Ski Patrolling. He was a friend, a brother, and an important part of the Mt. Ashland Family and community.
“Johnny was an exceptional person in every aspect of life,” said General Manger Hiram Towle. “His drive and determination to be the best, no matter what the challenge, was an inspiration to us all. He had a thirst for fun and adventure unlike anyone I have known. With his smile and charm you simply couldn’t have a bad day with Johnny around.”
“Johnny Walker was my close friend and coworker,” said Ski Patrol Director Doug Volk. “He was a skilled Patroller, always ready to answer any call of duty. He was an accomplished surfer that lived his life as if riding a wave, all that mattered was the moment and the turn, he loved that. He will truly be missed by all of our mountain community. His infectious humor, smile, and good will left us too soon. Aloha Johnny.”
“We are all still in shock and miss him terribly,” adds Towle. “He will forever live in our hearts and here on the mountain. As a family we will heal the wounds of this tragic loss one ski run at a time. That’s just how Johnny would’ve wanted it.”