Skier dies after avalanche in NM; 1 in critical condition

Hundreds of skiers, including a former Libertarian presidential candidate, participated in rescue

Skier dies after avalanche in NM; 1 in critical condition
Hundreds of skiers joined a desperate search for two who were caught in an avalanche on Thursday morning.

TAOS, NM (KOAT/CNN) - A skier has died and another is in critical condition after being buried by an avalanche in New Mexico.

Matthew Zonghetti, 26, of Massachusetts, has been identified as the skier who died as a result of injuries sustained in the avalanche at Kachina Peak around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Taos Ski Valley had earlier confirmed two skiers were found buried in snow after an avalanche. Both received medical attention at the resort before being taken to a hospital.

The resort confirmed there weren’t any additional victims after a lengthy search, KOAT reported.

Hundreds of skiers rushed to their rescue after the incident in Taos Ski Valley.

Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor and a Libertarian candidate for the presidency in 2016, jumped in with other searchers to help find the skiers.

“Someone else came down with more probes and threw them down to us, and we started probing,” John Vanderbosch said.

The skiers went up and down the mountain, making sure they don’t miss a spot.

“We are all together and we are all recognizing that we could be the victim underneath this, so let’s find them!” Vanderbosch said.

“All the way to the ground, you make sure, because if you pass over somebody that’s underneath the snow, there’s not gonna be another pass,” Johnson said.

“You jump in and help in the search and rescue and do what you can because that’s what skiers do,” Vanderbosch said.

It’s still unclear what triggered the avalanche, but the resort said a full investigation will be conducted.

The ski resort says it detonated explosives in that area earlier on Thursday - which is done to prevent avalanches.

Copyright 2019 KOAT via CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Television Group, Inc., contributed to this report.