A second man who was pulled from the snow in critical condition after an avalanche at a New Mexico ski resort has died

By Maura Hohman and Char Adams
January 22, 2019 08:15 AM
Corey Borg-Massanari/Facebook

A 22-year-old man who was pulled from the snow in critical condition after an avalanche at a New Mexico ski resort has died days after the incident, reports say.

Corey Borg-Massanari, a student in Colorado, was trapped along with Matthew Zonghetti, 26, under the snow for more than 20 minutes on Thursday after snow came tumbling down a mountain at Taos Ski Valley, according to WLKY.

“The mountain took his life unexpected with an avalanche while skiing in New Mexico,” Borg-Massanari’s grandmother, Deb Bowers Borg, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“I am so proud of this young man and the impact that he has left on so many lives. You will be missed here on earth but we will all see you later in our journey. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

Zonghetti, from Massachusetts, was at Taos Ski Valley with his father, local outlet KOAT reported. Officials with Taos Ski Valley wrote in a tweet that the avalanche of occurred around 11:30 a.m. off the K3 shoot of Kachin Peak. Zonghetti died shortly after the incident and Borg-Massanari was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s events,” Taos Ski Resort tweeted on Friday. “Our hearts are with the individuals, their family and friends, as well as the larger community that has been affected, including other visitors and our dedicated staff.”

Witnesses described the scene as a “very scary situation” to KOAT. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson was also present during the incident, the outlet reports. He said the snow was “more like concrete.” Johnson told KOAT he saw rescue crews looking through the snow for anyone trapped with 10-foot poles.

Matt Zonghetti
Matt Zonghetti/Facebook

Taos Ski Valley officials have confirmed there were only two victims. KOAT reported. The trigger of the avalanche is unknown at this time and an investigation is ongoing, the ski resort tweeted.

According to KOAT, Zonghetti took the trip to New Mexico to go skiing every year with his father, who was safe at the base of the mountain when the avalanche occurred. Zonghetti’s sister told the outlet he started skiing when he was 4 years old.

An emergency vehicle at Taos Ski Valley resort
Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal via ZUMA Wire

Borg-Massanari’s family confirmed his death in a statement on Monday, according to WLKY.

“Corey brought joy to many and will continue to bring joy to others through his life-saving gift of organ donation,” the family reportedly said in the statement.

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Chris Stagg, vice president of public affairs for Taos Ski Valley, told KOAT that the morning of the avalanche, the mountains ski patrol team detonated explosives where it later occurred. This is standard procedure to prevent avalanches. He added avalanches in the area are rare.

George Brooks with Ski New Mexico also told the outlet that the mountain is checked by ski patrol on a daily basis.