VALLEJO (KPIX) – A grieving family was remembering their son, an experienced snowboarder from Vallejo who died at a busy ski resort earlier this week.

Authorities say the heavy snowfall this winter likely contributed to the snowboarding accident that killed 40-year-old Danieson Crowder.

“He was wonderful. He was kind. It’s hard to believe he’s gone,” said the victim’s father, Dannie Crowder. “I look at [his] truck and I expect him to get out of it.”

The Crowder family says Danieson drove up to the Northstar ski resort Monday morning by himself to snowboard. He was a season ticket holder for more than 10 years so he had done the trip countless times.

But his family got worried when he didn’t return on Tuesday. They called the Placer County Sheriff’s Department Wednesday morning to file a missing person’s report.

The family says the Northstar ski patrol found his body later that day in a deep tree well, an area of deep, loose snow around the trunk of a tree.

“He went head first into the hole. It knocked him out. And he suffocated,” said Crowder.

It’s a big surprise for the family since Danieson was an experienced snowboarder. They say he started snowboarding when he was a teenager, about 25 years ago.

“We had pre-planned our own funerals, but you never expect it for your kids. You don’t expect them to go before you,” said Crowder.

The family plans to bury Danieson on March 22nd at Skyview Memorial Lawn in Vallejo.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department says the heavy snowfall this winter formed a lot of tree wells in the back country as well as controlled ski resorts.

They say tree wells are very dangerous for even experienced skiers and snowboarders.
It’s often very hard for people to pull themselves out once they have fallen in to a tree well. That’s why experts say never ski alone.

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