Buckley airman killed while snowboarding at Eldora identified

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AURORA, Colo. — The Buckley Air Force Base airman who died in a snowboarding accident at Eldora Mountain Resort earlier this week has been identified.

Air Force senior airman Tien Tran crashed into a tree and suffered a fatal head injury at the Boulder County resort near Nederland on Tuesday, Buckley officials said Friday.

The 24-year-old was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said Tran crashed about 10:30 a.m. When he was found, he was unconscious and not breathing. Rescue crews began performing CPR on him.

A medical helicopter was summoned, but it could not fly because of high winds. An ambulance responded, but Tran was pronounced dead at the ski area.

“The squadron is coming together as a family in this difficult time, and we’re ensuring resources are available for the family, friends and co-workers,” Lt. Col. Chandler Atwood said in a statement.

Buckley officials said Tran was a 566th Intelligence Squadron electronic intelligence signals analyst who operated a $4.5 million system where he analyzed intelligence data.

He also volunteered in the community through services such as Habitat for Humanity. Buckley Air Force Base will hold a memorial service at a later date.

Tran is the first person to die at Eldora since University of Colorado student Rob Miles died after colliding with a tree while skiing in December 2014.

He was the seventh ski-related death at Colorado resorts this season.