CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A 41-year-old man who was visiting Sugarloaf ski resort with his wife and two children died Thursday after he skied into a tree.

David Morse, of Kingston, Nova Scotia, died shortly after 5 p.m. in an ambulance that was en route to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Carrabassett Valley Police Chief Scott Nichols said. It is the first skier death at Sugarloaf this winter season.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office is scheduled to examine the body today to determine an official cause of death.

When members of Sugarloaf Ski Patrol responded to the accident scene at 3:43 p.m. Thursday amid falling snow, they found Morse conscious and alert.

As an intermediate skier, he told them he wasn’t used to skiing on powder, Carrabassett Valley Police Chief Scott Nichols said today.

Before his condition worsened, Morse told the rescue workers that the edge of his skis had caught in the snow, and he had lost control, sending him into the woods off the Lower Timberline trail.

His family members were also at Sugarloaf, Nichols said, but they were not skiing with him at the time of the crash. Though the trail on the western side of the mountain is described as an easier trail, it has “wide, sweeping turns, and you can get some speed on it,” Nichols said.

Morse was wearing goggles and a helmet.

Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller says the entire Sugarloaf community is “tremendously saddened” by the death.

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