Connor Golembiewski was on the chairlift at the popular [Blue Mountain Resort] in the Pocono Mountains when he fell and hit the ground below about 11:30 a.m., NJ.com reported. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Carbon County Coroner Robert Miller Jr. said "the teen died from multiple blunt force trauma and his death was ruled an accident. Miller said Golembiewski fell about 20 feet, though other reports indicated the drop was nearly double the distance."
One report says, "He fell 37 feet, almost four stories, and hit rocks below. He suffered head, back, and rib injuries and died at Palmerton Hospital."
"It’s unclear if Golembiewski was using the lift bar at the time of the fall, which helps lock skiers in the lift as it transports them up the slopes. The teen reportedly landed on rocks, causing injuries to his head, back, and ribs, according to WFMZ."
Golembiewski was a star player with the New Jersey Renegades Junior Hockey Team and was a junior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.
His team posted a moving tribute to the 17-year-old on their website “The NJ Renegades mourn the tragic loss of one of their players, Connor Golembiewski, who passed away tragically on New Year’s Day in a skiing accident.
“Connor was a Renegade starting at the age of 9 playing squirts thru bantams with the Renegades. He was a loyal, hardworking, respectful player that gave his all every time he came to the rink.”
Connor’s coach, Cliff Graziano, posted on his page on Tuesday, saying he had “lost a friend.”
“I had the privilege to coach Connor since the age of 8. I was just on the ice with him 2 days ago doing a lesson with him and his friends. I often tell my players that I'm their coach and we'll be friends when they are done playing for me. Yesterday I lost a friend. This is incredibly difficult to accept and understand.
“To his parents, Mike & Veronica and their family, I and all of Renegade Nation is here for you for anything you need.”
An investigation is underway to determine why the 17-year-old happened to fall. Please join us in praying for Connor’s family and teammates as they go through this terrible loss.