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A 28-year-old Rio Rancho snowboarder who died Saturday afternoon at Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort was working in the emergency room at the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.
Jairo Hernandez was originally from San Jose, California and moved to New Mexico in 2015. He worked as a cashier at a Wells Fargo in Rio Rancho from September 2015 to October 2019 and recently worked in the Emergency Department of the Presbyterian Hospital.
Hernandez was a “great person with a lot of charisma, always smiling and with good energy,” said Wille Baez, a bank customer who befriended Hernandez.
“He was a great family friend and also helped open my bank account. … He was the first to meet my mother and me at the door and help us. “
Jairo’s sister Catalina Hernandez and Paula Hartog opened a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses. They posted that Jairo is a “beautiful, special, bright person … full of life, happiness, dancing and laughter. His smile is still absolutely contagious and his SPIRIT was like no other. “
He was credited by colleagues in the Presbyterian Emergency Room for remaining “positive, compassionate, and (reminds) us of our purpose.”
He reportedly snowboarded for the first time on Saturday.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe identified Hernandez after his family was informed of his death, according to Taos News.
JP Bradley, general manager of Sipapu, said the ski patrol at the resort south of Taos found Hernandez unavailable on an intermediate run just minutes after receiving a call about a distressed snowboarder at a tree line. They administered CPR. Paramedics came and took Hernandez to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Hernandez, who was wearing a helmet, appeared to have bumped into a tree, Bradley said.
“Our condolences go to the family,” he told the Taos News.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator took Hernandez’s body for autopsy.