NA­TION Avalanche tragedy

Aus­tralian boy killed as dream fam­ily ski trip turns to hor­ror

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NATION -

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.

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