Winona State student dies in snowboarding accident

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - A 20-year-old college student has died while snowboarding on a hill at Duluth's Spirit Mountain.

The recreation area's executive director, Brandy Ream, says the man was snowboarding with friends on one of Spirit Mountain's most challenging hills early Sunday afternoon. Ream tells the Star Tribune when the man did not make it to the bottom, his friends went to look for him and found him on the ground.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office identifies the man as Derek Harms and says he died of multiple blunt force injuries due to a snowboarding accident.

The medical examiner's office says Harms was a student at Winona State University, and his family is from Illinois.

Duluth police are investigating.

WSU released a statement saying Harms enrolled at the university in the fall of 2015 and was studying Recreation, Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation.

"Losing a member of our community is a very difficult thing, and I know Derek will be missed by many. I encourage you to gently connect with those among us who may be struggling with this loss. May we find peace and the strength to endure as we hold on to the memories of Derek's life here at WSU," said WSU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Life Denise McDowell.

Counseling is being made available for students and staff.


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