Service member from Long Island dies after fall on Big Snow indoor ski slope

A well-respected member of the Maryland National Guard from Long Island died after a fall snowboarding at Big Snow at American Dream in East Rutherford.

News 12 Staff

Dec 14, 2022, 2:31 PM

Updated 586 days ago

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A well-respected member of the Maryland National Guard from Long Island died after a fall snowboarding at Big Snow at American Dream in East Rutherford.
Airman 1st Class Peter Matthews, 24, of Bay Shore, died last Thursday after hitting his head while on the indoor slope.
“People are dealing with it here. He had close friends who are grieving,” says Wayde Minami, public affairs officer for the Maryland National Guard.
Family members say Matthews fell backward while snowboarding, hit his head, and became unconscious. Ski patrol responded and rendered first aid, but Matthews died at the hospital.
Those that worked with Matthews say he had a bright future, along with aspirations of becoming a commercial pilot like his father.
“He was always smiling. He always had a positive outlook…He loved working on jets. He was just an all-around good guy,” Minami says.
Matthews was best known as a hardworking crew chief assigned to the 17th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron under the Maryland National Guard. He was even awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal earlier this year.
He was also on a major deployment to eastern Europe, “for U.S. Army-led exercises and he was part of that. As crew chief he played an essential role,” according to Minami.
New Jersey State Police and representatives for Big Snow and American Dream aren't providing any additional details about the incident.
It was not clear why there was a delay in informing the public about this tragedy. Matthews was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, but News 12 was not able to determine if wearing a helmet on the slope is required.


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