An 18-year-old high school student from New Hampshire was killed Wednesday when he crashed into a tree while tubing down a steep ski trail at Maine’s Sunday River ski resort.

A 17-year-old schoolmate of the victim was seriously injured. A third person who was present called for help at about 2 a.m., police said.

Portsmouth High School Principal Mary Lyons identified the 18-year-old as David Kohlhase, a senior. She described Kohlhase as a “beloved member of our school community.”

The injured student, Max Malila, was hospitalized Wednesday night at Maine Medical Center in serious condition.

Darcy Lambert, a spokeswoman for Sunday River, said the teens apparently hiked up the mountain. The resort was closed at the time and no ski lifts were running, she said. Sledding is not allowed on ski trails even when the mountain is open.

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office said the two teens descended part of the Tempest Trail on an “inflatable tube-style sled” when it went off the trail and struck a tree.


Lambert said the crash occurred near where the trail transitions from a black diamond rating, for expert skiers, to a blue square trail rated for intermediate skiers. The trail is steeper than most sledding hills.

She said one of the teens’ parents owns a condominium at the resort, and they were not guests at a hotel.

It was likely snowing, with temperatures in the teens, when the accident occurred, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley.

The principal said she sent a letter to school families Wednesday morning informing them of the accident.

Sun Journal Staff Writer Liz Marquis contributed to this report.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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