Charges For Viral Video? Snowboarder Could Be Charged For Causing Avalanche

Could there be charges filed for a viral video? A snowboarder by the name of Christian Michael Mares had a video of an avalanche at a California ski resort go viral last week, and that viral video could land him in big trouble.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that the owners of Sugar Bowl Resort in California are looking into pressing charges against the snowboarder for his actions. The owners believe that he purposely started the avalanche on Friday.

Mares is from Kings Beach, California, and the video of the avalanche went viral on both Facebook and Instagram. According to the Daily Mail, the video shows Mares debating about making a jump. After he does the jump and lands, the avalanche began.

According to the authorities at Sugar Bowl Resort, Mares was in an area that has been closed to the public since 2010 because it is an area that is at a high risk for avalanches. The Sugar Bowl Resort released a statement, which said that Mares “put himself, his friends, ski patrol and the skiing public at risk.”

The Sugar Bowl Resort contacted the local sheriff’s office, and the matter is being looked into by the district attorney’s office. They will file charges if warranted once they complete their own investigation. Sugar Bowl Resort asked for charges against Mares because he was in a closed area when he was snowboarding.

On the day of the avalanche, Carson May, a ski instructor, went missing. The search for him is still ongoing. There is no proof connecting the avalanche and the disappearance of the ski instructor, but it is possible that the two incidents are connected.

Christian Mares did not release his own statement about the possible charges against him, but he did post on his Facebook on Wednesday, according to NBC News.

He said, “I like how Sugar Bowl can make a biased press release, but when I call to talk to someone no one is available to talk to.”

Mares also spoke with Daily Mail Online about the avalanche.

“There was no time to think. As soon as I realized I was in an avalanche, I was trying to get to the trees to grab on to them. I was preparing to get buried, so I covered my head and made a pocket around me so that I’d be able to breathe. I was buried chest deep. But then I saw sunlight.”

Avalanches can be deadly. In the case of Christian Mares, he is okay, but there is still someone missing. In this first month of 2016, three deadly avalanches have made headlines. At the start of January, two climbers were killed in an avalanche in the French Alps. The Inquisitr reported that a man and a woman were killed. A third person was also caught in the avalanche, but they were found alive and unharmed.

Last week, two children were killed in an avalanche, and their teacher may be to blame. This incident also occurred in the French Alps. In this incident, the Inquisitr reported that the teacher allegedly took a group of teens onto a closed ski run, and the avalanche occurred shortly thereafter. Several others were injured as a result of the avalanche.

Winter is far from over, so there could be more reports of avalanches in the weeks ahead. It is best to heed all signs when you’re out skiing. Ignoring a sign about an area closure could land you more than in trouble with the law – it could cause loss of life and injury for yourself and others.

[Photo via Sugar Bowl Resort/Wikimedia Commons]