KIRKWOOD, Calif. - A San Francisco woman and her son died Sunday after being buried by falling snow near a condo at the Kirkwood Ski Resort. They are the latest casualties after a deadly winter storm in the Sierra over the weekend.
The Alpine County undersheriff Spencer Case called the deaths of 50-year-old Olga Perkovic and her 7-year-old son, Aaron Goodstein, a “freak accident.”
Case said the mother and son were just steps away from the front door of the Edelweiss condominium building where they were staying at the resort when a trailer-sized chunk of melting snow slid off the roof - and buried them.
Video from Kirkwood's website shows the heavy snowfall over the weekend; the resort reported getting more than six feet of snow in the span of a week.
Mother and son were reported missing by the family around 6 p.m. Sunday, but it wasn't until 9 p.m. when a neighbor noticed a pair of gloves and realized Perkovic and Aaron were buried underneath at least three feet of snow.
They were on a ski vacation with her two daughters and mother, the undersheriff said. He offered his condolences to her husband, David Goodstein, and her family and friends.
The family are members of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, where funeral arrangements are being made.
“Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Ski Patrol, and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” Doug Perini, Vice President and General Manager of Kirkwood Mountain Resort said in a written statement.
Petrovic earned a PhD in physics from Cornell University and was a strategy operations executive at Zymergen in Emervyville. "Olga was a valuable member of our community at Zymergen, a trusted adviser, and most importantly, an old and close friend of mine and so many others," CEO Josh Hoffman said in an email. "Words can't express how shocked we were to hear this news. She will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts are with her husband, David, and her daughters, Sophie, and Daria."
Perkovic also volunteered at Aaron's school, the French American International School in San Francisco. School spokeswoman Keelee Wren confirmed that Aaron was a first grader and that Perkovic was a "very involved" parent. There will be grief counselors on hand Tuesday, she said, adding that the entire community is "shocked and saddened."
Adrian Covert, vice president of public policy at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute said Perkovic was on the board there and helped them with water and transportation issues. She was very "thoughtful and had a well of knowledge," he said.
The winter storm struck across California over the weekend also claimed the lives of a snowboarder at Squaw Valley, and an avalanche also at that resort temporarily buried five other people although they were not seriously injured. A skier at China Peak near Fresno was also killed in a skiing accident this weekend.