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Utah transplant surgeon dies in ski accident

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  • Utah transplant surgeon dies in ski accident

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50341996...iing-accident-


    From the article:

    BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — A Cottonwood Heights doctor was killed in a skiing accident at Solitude on Thursday.

    Dr. Andrew Gagnon, 38, had been skiing with his wife before going off alone to "expert-only terrain" at Solitude Mountain Resort just before noon. Witnesses on a chair lift said they saw him go off a 100-foot cliff, then continue to tumble down a steep slope through rocks and trees for another 500 to 600 feet, according to the Unified Police Department.

    Gagnon fell while skiing Ortovox Chute off Evergreen Peak and slid off a cliff. He was wearing a helmet, according to a statement from the ski resort.

    Rescuers were able to get Gagnon off the mountain and crews from the Unified Fire Authority attempted life-saving efforts, but he was pronounced dead just before 12:40 p.m., according to police.

    According to a joint statement from Intermountain Healthcare and Canyon Surgical Associates, Gagnon was a transplant surgeon.

    "Because of Dr. Gagnon's surgical talents, he was instrumental in growing the Intermountain Healthcare Transplant Services program and in doing so saved hundreds of lives. Dr. Gagnon always said he loved living in Utah, loved what he was doing, and his patients often noted his kindness and compassion," according to the statement.

    Gagnon was also an "outdoor enthusiast, and lived for his family, patients, and fellow caregivers. The Intermountain Healthcare transplant family and entire transplant community in Utah will miss Dr. Gagnon and will honor his wonderful and lasting legacy."


  • #2
    We lost another young doc earlier in the week too. He and his wife left their 4 young kids with family while they went to HI and both were killed in a head on collision. It's the saddest thing. It's been a tough week for the medical community here.

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    • #3
      This is all so sad. Life is truly ephemeral.
      we lost renowned physician in my large metropolitan city last week. He died suddenly. Young guy.

      another reason why I told my spouse that once we reach FI, I’m out.

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      • #4
        A local neurosurgeon few years ago died in a skiing accident. I believe he was in his early 40’s. Truly sad

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WorkforFIRE View Post
          This is all so sad. Life is truly ephemeral.
          we lost renowned physician in my large metropolitan city last week. He died suddenly. Young guy.

          another reason why I told my spouse that once we reach FI, I’m out.
          The leading cause of death ages 1-44 is accidents and violence. Accidents just finds it’s victims. Probably better odds if you keep working.
          You can’t live in fear (obviously). But you can be careful and live each day you get to the fullest.
          Bave a great week.


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          • #6
            38? My goodness was just getting started. Sad.

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            • #7
              Two famous skiing accidents

              Vanessa Redgrave's daughter Natasha Richardson -died

              Michael Schumacher - He was in a coma for a long time. Not sure what his condition is now.

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              • #8
                Very sad, but I don't understand what's wrong with people who have to push the limits and extremes to try what 90-99% plus of the people doing those hobbies don't. Skiing and motorcycles are definitely the two everyman hobbies that can easily land you with major injuries or death.

                I ride a motorcycle a bit... in rural areas with very little traffic... at reasonable speeds.... on clear days... with full protective gear. Still, trauma surgeon should know better, and I will likely give it up by age 60 if not sooner. Everyone should know better. I could always hit sand or get T-boned by a texting driver or whatever, and I'd feel a bit dumb if I even wreck a bike or get a separated shoulder or something.

                The full blown X-games type stuff and high class rapids kayaking, going out in far wilderness camping with no comm/backup, racing cars or bikes 150-200mph on tracks, pushing the limits of private pilot skill, etc is deliberately taking your life in your own hands. Even powerlifting and maxing out regularly is asking for ortho and back problems. I just can't feel very sorry for those folks. I think that the moral of the story is that you can go 70th or 80th percentile on your hobbies and still have plenty of fun.

                Originally posted by Zaphod View Post
                38? My goodness was just getting started. Sad.
                True, but transplant surgeons are also usually done by 50 or so (maybe a few more emeritus years if they have fellows to do the key micro/dexterity work, which most of those hospitals will).

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                • #9
                  I really hope he had enough life insurance. It’s a real tragedy but it’ll be even harder for his family financially.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by doctorbone View Post
                    I really hope he had enough life insurance. It’s a real tragedy but it’ll be even harder for his family financially.
                    It is actually highly unlikely there was life insurance which will apply... the vast majority will not cover extreme sports, and many that will are almost unaffordable. Just like a DUI crash or other things, the basic blanket group insurance policy from the hospital will exclude people who do those activities. Also, it will have clauses where the group plan can be voided or greatly reduced due to an individual's dangerous outlier activity leading to demise and the insured person or group having signed that they do not do these things or won't get a payout if the fatal activities were illegal or outlier risks.

                    In a high number of these cases, any life insurance payout is voided by one means or another (or at least it could be... since the person lied in their policy papers to quality or reduce their premiums, and signed that they didn't do the high risk activities, substances, etc that are exactly what lead to death). There is a very high probability that if this guy had a family, they will be on gofundme and not getting significant indemnity from any life insurance the departed held on himself.

                    I see a ton of these cases and have been pressured occasionally by families in the ICU to omit details of the activity which caused the death (intoxicated, on drugs, extreme hazard activity, suicide vs crime, etc). I play dumb and just document objectively... as if it's not in the ER and paramedic reports anyways. What is actually a lot more common is that a small fraction of the policy amount is given... basically just as a PR move by the insurer to avoid public shaming for shafting the widow/widower (even if they could have paid zero, it is worth it for them to maybe give 100k instead of 1M policy to avoid bad headlines). They have to sign NDA to get the token payments (often in installments).

                    This is stuff the gleeful insurance salesmen won't exactly offer up front when they are trying to score a commission, lol.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Max Power View Post
                      It is actually highly unlikely there was life insurance which will apply... the vast majority will not cover extreme sports, and many that will are almost unaffordable. Just like a DUI crash or other things, the basic blanket group insurance policy from the hospital will exclude people who do those activities. Also, it will have clauses where the group plan can be voided or greatly reduced due to an individual's dangerous outlier activity leading to demise and the insured person or group having signed that they do not do these things or won't get a payout if the fatal activities were illegal or outlier risks.

                      In a high number of these cases, any life insurance payout is voided by one means or another (or at least it could be... since the person lied in their policy papers to quality or reduce their premiums, and signed that they didn't do the high risk activities, substances, etc that are exactly what lead to death). There is a very high probability that if this guy had a family, they will be on gofundme and not getting significant indemnity from any life insurance the departed held on himself.

                      I see a ton of these cases and have been pressured occasionally by families in the ICU to omit details of the activity which caused the death (intoxicated, on drugs, extreme hazard activity, suicide vs crime, etc). I play dumb and just document objectively... as if it's not in the ER and paramedic reports anyways. What is actually a lot more common is that a small fraction of the policy amount is given... basically just as a PR move by the insurer to avoid public shaming for shafting the widow/widower (even if they could have paid zero, it is worth it for them to maybe give 100k instead of 1M policy to avoid bad headlines). They have to sign NDA to get the token payments (often in installments).

                      This is stuff the gleeful insurance salesmen won't exactly offer up front when they are trying to score a commission, lol.
                      What is your source for this info, I believe it is incorrect.

                      Insurers ask about certain activities when you apply, and for example exclude suicide the first two years. But if you are not a pilot, and then buy life insurance, and then years later become a pilot and die in an accident, you're saying they won't pay?

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                      • #12
                        I think my life insurance has exclusions eg, flying a plane , war , suicide , can’t remember exactly but also dying while being involved in anti-law activities

                        Don’t remember skiing being mentioned .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                          What is your source for this info, I believe it is incorrect.

                          Insurers ask about certain activities when you apply, and for example exclude suicide the first two years. But if you are not a pilot, and then buy life insurance, and then years later become a pilot and die in an accident, you're saying they won't pay?
                          I'm with FIREshrink on this one. I guess I could imagine flying a plane being in there, I can't imagine "extreme skiiing" being in there as far as something you couldn't do in the future.

                          Also, group policies tend to not exclude much of anything in their polices. But normally they're quite low, which is why they can afford to be so liberal.

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                          • #14
                            I’m sure WCI would know the answer. He does a lot of extreme outdoor activities.

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                            • #15
                              The article stated he went off on an expert only terrain. It did not indicate whether he was an expert skier or had any knowledge of the terrain.

                              Any payout from the Dr,'s insurance and/or the resort's insurance could hinge on any contributory negligence of the parties.

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