A California mother and her 7-year-old son died on Sunday as they made their way back to their condo after a day of skiing.
As they approached the front door of their condo, a massive amount of snow about the size of a trailer fell from the roof, burying them under three feet of snow, according to the Alpine County Sheriff’s Office.
Olga Perkovic, 50, and her son, Aaron Goodstein, of San Francisco, were found under the snow in Alpine County after a neighbor saw ski gloves sticking out from the snow pile around 9 p.m. They were airlifted to a hospital, where they were declared dead.
During an investigation, police discovered that the mother and son decided to ski an alternate route back to their condo, through a wooded area. When they arrived, they skied underneath a roof that was covered with snow, which ultimately slid from the condo and buried them alive.
Perkovic — whose last known location was with her son at 4 p.m., when their ski lift tickets were scanned — was at the Kirkwood Ski Resort with her three children when the incident occurred.
Undersheriff Spencer Pace called the incident a “freak accident,” according to NBC News.
Perkovic had a doctorate in physics from Cornell University and had last worked at Zymergen, a biotechnology company in Emeryville, California, according to the news outlet, while Aaron was a first grade student.
“Olga was a valuable member of our community at Zymergen, a trusted adviser, and most importantly, an old and close friend of mine and so many others,” Josh Hoffman, Zymergen CEO, told NBC. “She will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts are with her husband David and her daughters, Sophie and Daria.”
Perkovic’s husband, David Goodstein, 56, told The Reno Gazette Journal, that his wife taught him how to ski when he lived in Logan, Utah.
“We actually met fencing,” David told the newspaper over an email. “Everyone joked that she always won before we were going out, when her concentration was better, and I always [won] after we started dating.”
He said that Aaron was their youngest child and was “delightful and impossible in equal measures.”
He added: “He loved swimming, skiing, reading and clowning around. He could talk about anything and everything, non-stop.”
According to David, Perkovic emigrated to the United States in 1986 from Belgrade.
All three children attended the French American International School in San Francisco and the family frequently made trips to Europe.
“We visited former Yugoslavia nearly every summer and had recently bought the original home in Belgrade of her mother and grandmother to fix it up and keep it in the family,” David wrote. “We had plans to visit again this June.”