PORTSMOUTH, NH (CBS) – An 18-year-old senior at Portsmouth, New Hampshire High School was killed, another senior seriously injured when their snow tube went off a trail and hit a tree early Wednesday morning at Sunday River ski resort.
Sheriff deputies received a 911 call just before 2 a.m. well after the mountain had closed. Killed in the crash was 18-year-old David Kohlhase. “Everybody is down, David was a big guy in the community,” said classmate Ryan Prince. “Everybody loved him and we’re worried about Max too.”
Classmates say the friends headed to the slopes when the snow day was announced. A third friend who was with them did not have to be hospitalized.
Scott Dubben, Max Malila’s baseball coach, says he’s a standout player. “Max is a talented baseball player, fighter and competitor. We hope that will help him through this process right now,” said Dubben.
The family of David Kohlhase released a statement saying, “The family is at a loss for words right now. Way too young to go. He was an incredibly intelligent and good kid.” Classmates say it will be difficult when school reopens as they pull for Max and miss David.
“He’s super happy, full of life, loved to do things. A really good kid,” said Prince.
Kohlhase was an avid fisherman and well on his way to his captain’s license. Friends say the loss has rocked their fishing community from Rye to Gloucester.
“Hands down the best person I ever had on the boat for reeling in a fish,” friend Nick Cyr said. “If I needed help on my boat or anything else I’d call him and he was right there to help me out. A great fisherman and a lot of fun.”
School leaders say crisis teams will be at Portsmouth High School Thursday to support students as they return to classes.