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22-year-old college student dies in accident at Whiteface Mountain

Mel Evans // Associated Press

A 22-year-old SUNY Fredonia student athlete, originally from Pennsylvania, died in a ski accident at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort on Tuesday after striking a tree.

Posted: Jan 14, 2021 10:27 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2021 10:33 AM

WILMINGTON, N.Y. – A 22-year-old SUNY Fredonia student athlete, originally from Pennsylvania, died in a ski accident at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort on Tuesday after striking a tree.

According to New York State Police, Bernhard T. Kahlau was skiing down the Upper Approach Trail when he lost control and hit the tree.
Essex County Coroner Jerod Heidrick was called to the resort, and pronounced Kahlau dead at the scene.

An autopsy was performed at Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh, and it was determined Kahlau suffered a cervical skull fracture.

The cause of death was ruled accidental.

Kahlau, who went by Tanner, was a junior men's hockey player at SUNY Fredonia.

The college posted a message from Kahlau's coach on their website Wednesday.

"To say Tanner was a great teammate is not doing him justice," said Fredonia State Head Coach Jeff Meredith. "He was a teammate that everyone loved. His kind demeanor, easy way, and welcoming smile made him a leader, confidant, and friend to all. He was a 'team first' guy and would do anything for his boys. Tanner was incredibly humble and I am fortunate to be able to say I worked with him and got to share in his college experience. Our Fredonia family is strong and we will need that strength to support each other as we mourn the loss of such a valued member of our family. God bless Tanner and his family."

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