2 Illinois high school students die in sledding crash at Colorado ski resort

FAIRBURY, Ill. — Spring break had just started when an Illinois community was shocked to learn that two high school seniors died in a sledding crash over the weekend in Colorado.

The two seniors — Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr — died at Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado Sunday evening, according to information provided by Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane, local news agencies in Colorado and the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

"We're heartbroken over this," Crane said Monday. "We'll do all we can to support the families."

This Nov. 17, 2009 file photo shows Copper Mountain Resort and Ski area, west of Breckenridge, Colo.
This Nov. 17, 2009 file photo shows Copper Mountain Resort and Ski area, west of Breckenridge, Colo.

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What happened at Copper Mountain Ski Resort?

According to a report from the Summit County Sheriff's Department, "at approximately 8:35 pm, the Summit County Sheriff's Office responded to a sledding accident at Copper Mountain Ski Resort involving the deaths of two individuals.


"The two subjects, 17 and 18 years old males and both from Illinois, were on a spring break vacation. The subjects reportedly rode tandem down the half pipe and launched off a large snowbank at the bottom of the half pipe. The two individuals came down hard on the hard ice below, causing blunt force trauma.

"Despite immediate medical attention from emergency medical services, the individuals could not be revived and were pronounced deceased on the scene," the release said.

The release noted that the Summit County Coroner's Office has taken over the investigation into the cause and manner of death and that this remains an active investigation.

According to, "The entire team at Copper Mountain is deeply saddened by this tragic incident," said Dustin Lyman, Copper Mountain's president and general manager, in a statement. "Our most sincere condolences go out to the affected families and friends. We are also thankful to our local emergency responders, for their quick response and the medical assistance provided."

Teenagers identified

Dylan Bazzell
Dylan Bazzell

Bazzell and Fehr were seniors at  Prairie Central High School in Fairbury, about 90 miles southwest of Chicago.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help our students and staff with the grieving and healing process,” Crane said in a release.

Crane's release also noted that the school district teamed with the First Baptist Church of Fairbury to offer counseling, prayer and as a place for students to gather on Monday.

Drew Fehr
Drew Fehr

“This loss will affect everyone in our school and in our communities,” Crane said. “Students may have a difficult time dealing with the loss, and we encourage you to talk with your child.”

Spring break for the Prairie Central school district is taking place this week.

Teenagers were star athletes

Bazzell participated in football and basketball this school year, and was named to The Associated Press first-team all-state basketball squad earlier this month after helping lead the Hawks to a 31-3 record, an Illini Prairie Conference championship, a regional title and No. 1 ranking in Class 2A.

He also competed in football, serving as a kicker, receiver and defensive back for the Hawks, who finished 11-1 after falling in the Class 3A quarterfinals. PC went unbeaten in the regular season and won the Illini Prairie Conference championship.

Fehr also competed in football and basketball his senior year. Fehr, a team captain, was the leading rusher, scorer and tackler for the IPC champion Hawks and earned all-state mention. Fehr rushed for 1,439 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also had three receiving touchdowns. On defense, Fehr was in on 98 tackles.

Fehr was also a starter on the top-ranked basketball team, helping the Hawks to a conference title, as well as a regional championship.

This article originally appeared on Pontiac Daily Leader: Copper Mountain half pipe accident kills Illinois high school students