Coulsdon man dies in skiing accident
A Coulsdon man is reported to have died in a skiing accident during a family holiday.
The 23-year-old, named as Aleksander Owens-Thurston, is thought to have been killed after crashing into a snow cannon mid-air near the Austrian resort of St Anton.
He is understood to have been on holiday with his mother Agneaska, 48, father father Phillip, 49, at the time of his death on Monday.
Austrian police said Alexander had been skiing alone on a difficult slope and had not been wearing a helmet when the accident happened.
Police spokesman Markus Maier said: "He had been alone when the accident happened. He was not wearing a crash helmet and was on piste Nr 25 which is categorised as a black run and therefore difficult.
"He was at a height of roughly 1,700m when he lost control on the slope and ended up sliding 40m down the slope before shooting into the air at the side of the ski run.
"He went about 13m through the air and hit his head against the arm of an artificial snow cannon at full speed.
"The metal arm was over 3m in the year and normally not a risk the skiers. He then fell to the ground and skidded another 9m before he came to a stop.
"By chance there was a group of three skiers behind and one of these was a doctor who was able to give emergency CPR to the young man and called for an emergency helicopter.
"But the emergency doctor could only certify that the young man was dead."
Alexander's family are thought to be receiving counselling from a crisis support team in Austria.
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