Briton killed sledging on mattress

Eoghan Williams
Monday 04 February 2008 01:00 GMT

A British man has died in a bizarre accident at an Italian ski resort while sliding down a mountainside on a mattress.

David Monk, 46, was killed when he crashed into a barrier at high speed on Saturday night, said a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A second man needed hospital treatment after he was hurt in the same incident, which took place near Valle di Susa, close to Turin in northern Italy. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The spokesman said Mr Monk's next of kin had been informed, although he could not confirm where he was from.

Mr Monk was staying at a ski resort on a group holiday when the accident happened. The Italian media reported that he and three friends went sliding down a ski slope in the resort of Sauze d'Oulx on "rubber mattresses". He suffered fractures to his head and chest after crashing into a fence.

Sauze d'Oulx is one of five villages which make up the Via Lattea, or "Milky Way", a ski area that lies close to the French border. The resort is very popular with British skiers, and is known for its party atmosphere.

The village hosted the freestyle skiing events for the 2006 Winter Olympics, which were staged on two purpose-built slopes at the resort.

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