Update on circumstances of CR Johnson’s death at Squaw Valley

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 24, 2010 6:41 pm

Devastating news today as one of the great guys and phenomenal talents in skiing has died.  CR Johnson was 26.  Scott Gaffney was the first to provide a few details of the crash.  According to Gaffney, Johnson got caught up on some rocks going off a cliff on Light Towers (part of the famous Headwall of Squaw Valley).  Hitting the rocks threw Johnson over the handlebars, face first off the cliff.

JT Holmes was with Johnson when the tragic accident happened.  Holmes told us late Wednesday that Johnson died instantly.

The news has rocked the ski world.  CR Johnson was hugely influential, with a heart as big as his skills.  In 2005, Johnson donated his entire winnings from the Paul Mitchell Ultimate Bumps and Jumps competition to Tsunami Relief.

Johnson made an incredible comeback after a freak accident in December 2005 involving a collision with Kye Petersen at Brighton Resort in Utah.   Johnson suffered a major head injury.  After emerging from a coma, Johnson had to relearn everything, from swallowing food to walking.  His steadfast determination fueled by an immense love of skiing won him unanimous respect.

Jake Bogoch, editor of SKIING magazine, “CR Johnson was one of the most innovative skiers I’d ever seen. To go through what he went through, sustaining a bad head injury, then making a major comeback, speaks volumes about CR’s character.”

Per JT Holmes, “he died instantly, at home in his favorite place to ski, surrounded by friends.”

Michael Spencer had this to say, “CR was a true pioneer who taught us all how to overcome adversity and always follow your heart in everything you do.”

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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