A man who died during a weekend skiing accident at China Peak Mountain Resort was identified as 33-year-old Santa Barbara County firefighter Joseph (Joey) De Anda, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office in a Sunday news release stated that it was able to identify De Anda, who is from San Luis Obispo. He “died immediately from his injuries” after he crashed into a tree when skiing downhill Saturday at the resort.
Deputies responded to the incident about 12:30 p.m. and found De Anda in the snow, the release states.
“He was wearing a helmet, however, his injuries were too significant and he was not able to survive.”
De Anda had served as a firefighter with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department since 2020, according to the release. He also served as a communications dispatcher and paramedic for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team.
“Joey will be remembered for his positive attitude and hard work ethic,” Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Daniel Bertucelli was quoted in the release. “Joey made lasting relationships with everyone he came in contact with. Joey was the example that if you put your heart and mind into something, you can accomplish anything.”
The Fresno County Coroner’s Office is working with officials at the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to provide “proper honors” to De Anda before taking him back to the Central Coast, according to the release.
This is not the first death at the Lakeshore resort in recent years.
In 2018, Fresno snowboarder Blake Smith fell head-first into deep snow at the mountain resort and suffocated before he could get out. A similar death happened in 2012, when 30-year-old Kynan Stanners of Bass Lake died after falling head-first into snow while snowboarding.
This story was originally published January 9, 2022 1:36 PM.
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