At a time when most parents are preparing their children for the school year ahead, the parents of 16-year-old Max Meyer are grieving their son’s tragic death. A death which occurred while skiing on a fun-filled family holiday-turned-nightmare.
In a devastating turn of events, the family, including Max’s little brother, were skiing together in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria, last Wednesday when an avalanche crushed their eldest son.
His mother managed to wriggle to freedom while Max was buried completely – killed instantly under two metres of snow.
When rescuers arrived, it took them about 20 minutes to retrieve him. Sadly, he could not be revived.
In a statement released today, Max’s parents Thomas Meyer and Julie Schatz relived the moment they realised they had lost their son, explaining that the four of them had became stuck while skiing in a narrow valley between two main runs.
“Due to the depth of the snow, we considered it safer not to try to walk out, but to contact the ski patrol for advice and so that they would know our location,” the statement said, as reported by ABC News.
Concerned for their safety, the ski patrol officers advised them to stay where they were and await rescue.
“At that point in time, we were uninjured, and in no immediate danger,” the parents added.
But, as the family huddled together, patiently awaiting their freedom from the thick snow, an avalanche was triggered – believed to be by the rescue efforts.
“In the process of the ski patrol trying to reach us by skiing down from above us on the opposite side of the valley, an avalanche was triggered which engulfed us and tragically led to the death of our son Max.”
The couple expressed gratitude for the support of Austrian authorities and the “best efforts” of rescuers to resuscitate Max. The coroner’s report confirmed, however, that their son’s death had been “instant and painless”.
Max’s unequivocally tragic death has shaken his family, friends and school community.