NATION Avalanche tragedy
Australian boy killed as dream family ski trip turns to horror
A GIFTED Australian schoolboy who harboured dreams of being an astronaut died after being buried under tonnes of snow in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps as his horrified family watched from just metres away.
Max Meyer, 16, was on a seven-day ski trip with his father, 58, mother, 55, and brother, 14, when the group, all experienced skiers, decided to go off-piste in the St Anton am Arlberg resort for their final runs on Wednesday.
They issued an emergency call when they discovered they could not ski any further.
As they waited for help, an avalanche gave way under the region’s record snow falls, which had already claimed more than a dozen lives.
Max and his mother were covered by snow. His mother dug her way out, but Max remained buried two metres under. Without avalanche transceivers or shovel, the family could not save their son and brother. Rescuers retrieved his body 20 minutes later but he could not be revived.
Max (pictured) was a student at Sydney’s International Grammar School, where he was named dux last year.
The school has offered support to his family and fellow students.
“Max Meyer was about to enter Year 11, and his life has been tragically cut short,” the school’s principal Shauna Colnan said in an email to parents.
“I have spoken with Max’s father and have extended my deepest condolences on behalf of the IGS school community, and offered the family all of our support.”
At his school, Max’s extracurricular achievements were well known – he starred in the mock trial team and travelled to NASA in 2017 with the robotics club. In an interview with a local paper last year, Max discussed his passion for space. “I just want to get into space, it’s the dream,” he said.