NEWRY, Maine — CBS 13 has new information about a skier who died on an expert trail at the Sunday River ski area. State police say 35-year-old Benjamin Taylor fell on a steep trail Wednesday morning and crashed in the woods. Taylor was an experienced skier who knew this mountain, and many are shocked by his death.
Taylor worked at Sunday River but wasn’t working when the accident occurred. Instead, he was doing what he loved most in winter: skiing. Sunday River Communications Director Sarah Devlin told CBS 13 that Ben Taylor was an avid skier.
“I just found out he skied 82 days this year, which is quite a lot of skiing in one season,” she said.
Ben Taylor was skiing with a friend when he veered onto “Black Hole,” a double black diamond trail with a steep drop off. State police say he fell and ended up in the woods at the bottom of the hill. Sarah Devlin confirmed for us that “Black Hole” is, indeed, a steep trail.
“It is considered an advanced, or most difficult, trail,” she said.
Devlin said Taylor was wearing a helmet. She also said the ski patrol got to him in minutes, but he died instantly.
“We’re all grieving from it,” she said. “This was a big blow for us.”
Taylor lived what some would consider the best of both worlds — working and skiing during the winter and golfing during the summer. They were his two passions.
He was general manager of the Wilson Lake Country Club in Wilton, near his hometown.
In a mass email, Harris Golf, which owns the club, sent a remembrance out about Ben Taylor, which can be found online at http://harrisgolf.wix.com/bentaylor.
“Ben was such a nice guy,” Harris Golf’s Matt Barnard told CBS 13. “He was always positive about everything, always smiling.”
Sarah Devlin echoed those sentiments.
“He was really upbeat and very enthusiastic about skiing, about life,” she said. “He would get up in the morning, apparently, and just embrace the day.”
Taylor was also a dog lover, with two dogs of his own. Devlin says dozens of people have volunteered to care for his dogs.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed and moved, even, by how many people have come forward,” she said. “And there’s movement to try and find a place for those dogs. It’s very, very sweet.”
Sunday River is conducting its own investigation into how and why this happened. Meantime, the double black diamond “Black Hole” remains open.