Updated: December 28, 2020 10:14 PM
Created: December 28, 2020 10:11 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 22-year-old man who recently moved to New Mexico died in a freak accident after losing control of his skis then crashing into a tree.
Bryan Garcia’s family said the tragedy happened the day after Christmas.
"He was so easy to love,” said Anndrea Garcia, Bryan’s older sister.
Bryan relocated to New Mexico from Arizona and took a job working at Ski Santa Fe. His family said he was an experienced snowboarder, but was trying to get better on skis.
"He was skiing pretty much everyday and he was likely familiar with that trail, so he probably just lost control and went off the trail,” said Stephanie Garcia, Bryan’s sister.
Ben Abruzzo, general manager of Ski Santa Fe, said safety is something they take seriously, but skiing comes with inherent risks.
"He was wearing a helmet. Helmets absolutely help and they're not the end all be all,” he said.
"You know it's a tough time for our staff and obviously for his family,” he added.
At Ski Santa Fe, the steepest, most extreme terrain is still closed due to not enough snow. Abruzzo said injuries often happen where people feel comfortable.
"What we do see with a generalization of challenging accidents, is skiing too fast. And skiing too fast near the trees is what you don't want to do,” he said.
Bryan’s family said he’ll be remembered as a fun-loving, adrenaline junkie who always wanted to help others.
"A contagious smile, contagious laugh. He always made sure everybody is OK and made sure we were all OK,” said Brian’s cousin, Nicole Zamora.
"As a brother, he was a friend. He genuinely cared about everybody in his life,” said Anndrea Garcia.
To donate to the Garcia family’s GoFundMe, click here.
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