Whiteface Mountain employee recovering from snowmaking machine accident

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**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JAN. 25-27** This view shows the entrance to Whiteface Mountain Ski Area in Wilmington, N.Y., Wdnesday, Jan. 23, 2008. It’s been 50 years since former Gov. Averill Harriman ventured north on Jan. 25, 1958 to celebrate the opening of what would become New York’s Olympic mountain. (AP Photo/Todd Bissonette)

Charles St. Pierre was shutting down a snow-making machine at Whiteface Mountain on Monday when something went wrong.

“I went to disconnect the hose, and it discharged and it went right to my face,” St. Pierre said. The 200-psi blast caused serious injuries to his face and head.

“His bones are all shattered on both sides, his teeth are just hanging by the bone,” said his father, David. “His eye sockets are cracked, the back of his skull, and it was just shattered.”

Incredibly, St. Pierre remained conscious and was able to turn off the machine himself. A worker checking on the machine found him and summoned help.

“Yeah, it didn’t knock me out. I can’t believe it myself,” St. Pierre said. “But it hurt. It hurt a lot.”

St. Pierre is a Marine Corps veteran who served on active duty for four years. He thanked his fellow Whiteface employees, as well as the nurses and doctors who cared for him, saying the way everyone pulled together reminded him of his deployment.

“They acted just like a platoon themselves,” he said, “getting me out of there, coming together to get me Medivaced, out, you know what I’m saying? They did a great job.”

St. Pierre has a long recovery ahead, but hasn’t changed his love for his job and for Whiteface. “This isn’t going to stop me, not one minute from getting back there to that mountain,” he said. “If I could be there right now I would.”

Friends and family have created a Go Fund Me campaign to help with the costs of his recovery.

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