All Sections

Home | Public Safety

Rye teen killed in after-hours tubing crash on Maine ski run

Union Leader Correspondent

January 17. 2018 6:35PM
David Kohlhase crash victim (LINKEDIN)

A Rye teenager was killed overnight Wednesday when the snow tube he was riding on went off a Maine ski slope and crashed into trees.

In a letter to parents and students, Portsmouth High School Principal Mary Lyons identified the 18-year-old who died as senior David Kohlhase of Rye.

Another teen, a 17-year-old boy, also suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lyons said he was also a Portsmouth High student, though she didn’t identify him.

The accident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. at Sunday River in Newry, Maine. Sunday River was closed at the time of the accident. Rules on the resort’s website state that sledding is not permitted on any part of the mountain at any time.

On his LinkedIn page, Kohlhase said he was in the business program at the high school, earning credits through Great Bay Community College’s Running Start program.

Since October, Kohlhase had been working at The Electric Barn in North Hampton, which his father, David Kohlhase, founded in 1990. The younger Kohlhase wrote on LinkedIn that he was an apprentice, “building and salvaging electrical parts such as breakers, transformers and disconnects.”

“I am a big-time fisherman who loves to go tuna fishing. I am the captain of my father’s boat, where I use that opportunity to have fun and earn a little bit of extra money in the summer,” he wrote.

His Facebook page likes include the TV show “Wicked Tuna.”

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to the accident involving a snow tube on Tempest Trail around 1:57 a.m. Both teens were riding on the same tube when it went off the trail and struck a tree, the sheriff’s office said.

Darcy Lambert, a spokesman for Sunday River, expressed sympathy to the families involved but declined to comment on the investigation, referring all questions to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing, but “the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing any additional information at this time and we extend our sincere condolences to the families of those involved.”

Portsmouth High will have a crisis team in place when students return today to offer counseling and support. Lyons said students who need additional support should contact their school counselor.

In her letter, Lyons encouraged students to talk to each other as they try to come to grips with the tragedy.

“It is very difficult for all of us to face the death of a young person. It is important to rely on one another when tragedies such as this occur. We recommend that you talk to each other and share your reactions. It is important to let someone you trust know how you feel,” she wrote.

Lyons said students who need additional support should contact their school counselor.

“I know you join me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to David Kohlhase’s family,” she wrote.

Education Public Safety Portsmouth

More Headlines