This is the official mammoth pres release
April 7, 2006
Contact: Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO 760.934.0645
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, CA -- At approximately 11:29am yesterday, Thursday, April 6, 2006, four experienced Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrollers were inspecting the mountain after recent heavy snowstorms. The patrollers were fencing off a natural hazard, a deep gas vent, on Christmas Bowl run, east of Chair 3 when the snow around the vent collapsed. Two patrollers, John McAndrews and James Juarez, fell into the approximately 6-ft hole, down 21 feet of snow to the earth. Two patrollers attempting to help, Walter Rosenthal and Jeff Bridges, descended into the hole. Members of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol working nearby quickly initiated additional rescue efforts and were assisted by the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and Mono County Paramedics. The victims were immediately transported to Mammoth Hospital. Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller Jeff Bridges survived and Rosenthal, McAndrews and Juarez perished as a result of the accident.
Additional employees who assisted in the rescue were transported to Mammoth Hospital for observation. A total of seven were admitted and six were kept overnight including Bridges. All are expected to be released by mid-morning today.
The cause of death has not yet been determined by the Mono County Sheriff's Department but is possibly due to oxygen deprivation and/or being overcome by toxic gasses. The information will be released pending autopsies and toxicological results.
James Juarez, 35, a five-year veteran of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol originally from Granada Hills, California.
John "Scott" McAndrews, 37, a Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller for one year from Bishop, California.
Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, of Sunny Slopes, California a veteran of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol since 1972.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has established memorial funds for the three Ski Patrollers who died on April 6, 2006. Three individual funds have been established at Union Bank of Mammoth Lakes in each persons name; The Scott McAndrews Memorial Fund, The Walter Rosenthal Memorial Fund, and The James Juarez Memorial Fund.
If you wish to donate to any of the funds, you may send a check addressed to the fund of your choice to Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol, Director, Bobby Hoyt, PO Box 24, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Contributions may also be delivered directly to Union Bank, or mailed to Union Bank, PO Box 2729, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546.