Chest trauma likely killed woman, officials say

By January 26, 2011

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies believe a South Lake Tahoe woman who was found unresponsive at Heavenly Mountain Resort earlier this month likely died from a skiing accident.

Nancy Blachly, 57, was found by Heavenly Mountain Resort ski patrollers about 10:30 a.m. Jan. 11 on Bill’s Run in Mott Canyon, said Lt. Les Lovell.

Paramedics took Blachly to Barton Memorial Hospital, where she was declared brain dead at 11:40 p.m., Lovell said.

Coroner’s records list Blachly’s death as accidental due to blunt force trauma to the left side of her chest. An autopsy found Blachly had several broken ribs and a collapsed lung. The determination is preliminary, Lovell said.

The cause of death won’t be finalized until coroners receive toxicology results, which could take four to six weeks, Lovell added.

Lovell cautioned against assuming a collision with a tree caused Blachly’s injuries. There are no known witnesses to the crash and Blachly’s injuries are also consistent with landing on firm snow, Lovell said.

Blachly was kept on life support for several hours after being declared brain dead so her organs could be donated, Lovell said.

She was a licensed massage therapist since 1984 who also taught at Lake Tahoe Community College, according to a profile on

She was South Lake Tahoe’s first licensed massage therapist, according to the profile.

Tahoe Tribune

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