The GoPro, what was once worn on the head of many a person to signify that they were not only a unicorn but that they were recording their insane ability to ride down a green run has once again dominated as a sale item this past holiday season. With its continued rise in sales so too has their accessory market. Drones now top the list as the number one accessory for Gopro’s with their mounts trailing behind them. Now if you’ve been able to venture out to snowboard after this holiday gift giving season you may have noticed that the TeleTubbies have removed their camera from their head and attached it to a magical wand. What you may have also noticed is that this is causing a distraction to peoples riding abilities.
With more and more people attempting to get the most elegant of selfies for their 40 Instagram followers the rise in snowboarders using GoPoles has risen drastically. With this rise we are seeing an increase in riders not paying attention to their surroundings as well as to their inability to ride. Because, hey lets be honest, it’s all about impressing Shredderbabe440 or Boarderboy750 on Instagram with that crisp selfie of you slaying the bunny hill.
With this fascination of holding a GoPro in the lead hand it was only a matter of time before an accident occurred. On Sunday January 4th at Sunday River in Bethel Maine a snowboarder met his untimely demise due to a GoPole.
Bethel Maine —Sean Gapre, 43, of Castle Rock, died Jan. 4th from injuries related to an accident that took place while he was snowboarding at Sunday River Resort on Jan. 4th.
Gapre was reportedly found unconscious and unresponsive off White Cap, a black run located off of the 10 chair at Sunday River Ski Resort.
He was transported to the Bangor Health East grand Medical Clinic, located at the base of the ski area, by Sunday River Resort Ski Patrol and was subsequently airlifted to Portland Health.
An autopsy completed by the Castle Rock County Coroner’s Office revealed self impalement as the cause of death. Suicide was ruled out.
An investigation completed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found that Gapre was a fairly new snowboarder and had been snowboarding with a GoPole earlier in the day and had fallen several times. The final fall resulted in a full impalement on the sharp corner of his action camera.
He chose to continue using his action camera after lunch and had become separated from his friends at the time of the accident, according to a Jan. 4th press release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Gapre was riding with friends on the day of the accident, according to Steve Lumberman, public relations and communication manager for Sunday River Resort.
“Sunday River Resort extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends affected by this tragedy,” Lumberman said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted police have not been able to identify any witnesses who saw the accident, but several other skiers and Sunday River Ski Patrol provided aid on the mountain after the accident had occurred. They were rumored to be drenched in the victims blood and his GoPro selfie video shows their valiant efforts to save his life.
The investigation is ongoing at this time and investigators are waiting on the results of a toxicology report to determine whether drugs or alcohol were contributing factors to the accident, according to the press release. Although the coroner did guess that stupidity was the main culprit.
This is the first death at Sunday River Resort since an inbound avalanche killed 200 skiers on the back side of the resort in January 2012.
This is a tragic reminder that if you are going to attempt to get a selfie you should try to do so in your ability level. Your Instagram followers would be beside themselves if you were to be no more. At the time of posting GoPole and all the knock off brands could not be reached for comment.