9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Skiing Accident on Mt. Bachelor: ‘He Brought So Much Joy’
Brecken Boice, from Tacoma, was remembered for his sense of humor
A 9-year-old boy on a family trip to Oregon's Mt. Bachelor died following an accident near the mountain's summit.
Brecken Boice was skiing with a helmet when he was injured in an accident and airlifted to the hospital on Saturday afternoon, the Bend Bulletin reported.
The fourth-grader from Tacoma, Washington underwent brain surgery at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, but did not survive, said Chris Gavin, principal at Saint Patrick Catholic School.
"Brecken Boice was in a terrible accident on Saturday and did not survive the brain surgery," Gavin said in a statement. "Brecken was a beautiful boy. I simply don't have the wisdom to understand his passing nor the words to comfort his parents."
The statement included a quote from Brecken's mother Angela, who wrote, "I prayed for a miracle and then realized Brecken was our miracle. He brought so much joy to our lives."
Mt. Bachelor officials, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, said the accident was not related to a tree well, which is a hidden cavity of deep snow under a tree's branches.
"Our entire team at Mt. Bachelor is deeply saddened by our guest's tragic passing and offers our deepest condolences and support to his family and friends," the statement read, according to the Bulletin.
Skiiers and snowboarders also visiting the area on Saturday said the conditions were particularly rough, with snowboarder Peter Kendrick even calling them "objectively dangerous."
"In my 18 years of snowboarding, I've never seen ice like that," he told NBC/CW affiliate KTVZ.
A GoFundMe collecting money for Brecken's family has so far raised more than $50,000 for the boy whom organizers said brought "so much light into the lives of those around him."
The grade-schooler's friends also offered tributes on the page, with one pal named Jacob remembering his sense of humor.
"Brecken helped us. He was funny and made us smile," Jacob wrote. "He loves '80s rock and Taco Tuesday. I bet he is a stand-up comedian now. He always has the best jokes."
According to the Bulletin, three other people have died at Mt. Bachelor since 2018, including two people who were killed in tree wells on the same day in 2018.