Skier dies after hitting tree at Wisconsin ski hill

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A 24-year-old woman died after crashing into a tree while skiing in central Wisconsin this weekend.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was called to Cascade Mountain Ski Hill at 10:29 a.m. Saturday for a skier who had struck a tree.

The sheriff's office along medical workers and Cascade Mountain ski patrol responded to the scene. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The skier hasn't been identified.

The sheriff's office is investigating, but officials say the incident appears to be accidental.

During the 2014-2015 season, there were 29 skier deaths at ski areas in the United States, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) says, and six snowboarder deaths. Of those fatalities, 28 were male and seven were female.

The number of fatal incidents last year was a slight increase from the 2013-14 season, which saw 32 fatalities, but remains below the 10-year average of 38 deaths per season, NSAA notes.

On average, there are 50 "catastrophic injuries" (paralysis, broken neck, broken back, life-altering severe head injury) involving skiers and snowboarders per season, NSAA says. Most of the people who were catastrophically injured last year weren't wearing helmets.

The NSAA does not keep track of ski incidents by state.

Click here for more information on how to stay safe while skiing or snowboarding.

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