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Death from collision with skier ruled by coroner as homicide

Death from collision with skier ruled by coroner as homicide

Teton Village, WY— If the Teton County coroner’s announcement is any indication, a collision with a skier on the final day of Jackson Hole could lead to criminal charges.

Buckrail reports that Teton County Coroner Brent Blue has ruled the death of a Jackson Hole ski instructor a homicide. The important thing to note, however, is that this does not mean that the Teton County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) or the County Attorney will file charges against the skier responsible. The TSCO is currently investigating the incident.

The collision occurred on the Rendevous route on April 14 at around 10am. Ski patrol reports determined that the skier, who was above Wuerslin, “It was not possible to maneuver,” resulting in the collision. In addition, Jackson Hole said that although the ski instructor, who was not working that day, was wearing a helmet, the skier who collided with him was not. The ski instructor suffered a brain haemorrhage and was taken to hospital. He remained on life support before passing away on April 17.

The ski instructor has been identified as Peter Wuerslin. Originally from New York, he eventually moved to Jackson in 1975. Wuerslin was an avid motorcyclist and went on a number of long-distance trips with friends over the years. During a six-year cycling trip, Wuserlin and some friends cycled 70,000 kilometers around the planet. Wuerslin was a part-time ski instructor at Jackson Hole starting in 1978 and continued to work there after his bike rides until 2024. I recommend reading this obituary from Jackson Hole News & Guide to learn more about this legend.

The skier who crashed into him was unaware of the severity of the injuries sustained and was reportedly killed before the instructor “destroyed” after learning about his serious injuries. He went to the hospital but returned home to recover. The identity of the 34-year-old skier who crashed in Wuserlin has not been released.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Mary Kate Buckley released the following statement after Wuerslin passed away:

“All of us at JHMR are devastated to have lost a beloved member of our community and a long-serving instructor at our mountain sports school. Our thoughts are with the family, friends, our employees and community members who mourn this loss.”

Jon Bishop, risk and safety director at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, poignantly reminded skiers and riders of their responsibilities in collision avoidance:

“These incidents unfortunately still occur among skiers. It is your duty as an uphill skier to avoid those below you. We ask that everyone ski in a safe and respectful manner.”

If you know anything about the incident, please contact Detective Bret Bommer at 307-733-4052.

Image credits: Jackson Hole mountain resort