2nd Person Dies as Snow Hits California

MAMMOTH LAKES (AP) — A newspaper says another person has died in the deep snow dropped in the California mountains by a strong winter storm.

The Fresno Bee says Blake Smith was snowboarding with his friends at China Peak Mountain Resort when his life ended in a freak accident.

Tim Cohee, China Peak’s managing partner and general manager, told the newspaper that the 36-year-old Smith was snowboarding Friday when he fell headfirst into a 5-foot embankment of fresh snow and suffocated when he couldn’t free himself.

The resort had reopened just hours earlier after weeks of being shut down due to a lack of snow.

A snowboarder died a day earlier at Squaw Valley Ski Resort as the winter storm rolled through California.