FORT ANN -- The Fort Ann teen who died in a skiing accident at West Mountain Ski Center on Saturday was racing a friend down the mountain when he skied off a trial, police said Tuesday.
No one witnessed the Saturday morning accident, as the friend who Sean M. LaFlash was racing was ahead of him and did not see him go off the trail, Warren County sheriff's Lt. C. Shawn Lamouree said.
"The exact cause of the accident is unknown," Lamouree said.
Meanwhile, counselors were at Fort Ann High School for a second day Tuesday as students dealt with LaFlash's death, the latest in a spate of deaths of young people that has hit the town in recent months.
Fort Ann school Superintendent Maureen Van Buren said Whitehall Central School loaned counselors to supplement Fort Ann's staff as students discussed their emotions in the wake of LaFlash's death.
A room had been set up for schoolmates to sign cards for his family, and LaFlash's class plans a tribute to him in the future, Van Buren said.
"He was a good kid," she said. "He was very outgoing and he'd do anything for anybody."
"We can't say enough good things about him," said Fort Ann High Principal Dan Ward. "Sean was cared for by many, many of the staff members here."
LaFlash, 17, was a senior who was on the school's mock trial and wrestling teams.
He was also an avid photographer and had taken many pictures that were to be featured in the school yearbook, Ward said.
Classmates who were working with him on the yearbook planned a tribute to him in the book, and also plan to plant a shrub in his memory at the school, Ward said.
"The students in his class want to do something special for him," Ward said.
The classmates also helped LaFlash's family by taking food to them Monday night, the principal said.
It's been a particularly hard few months for the Fort Ann school community, Van Buren said.
Another member of the class of 2011, Benjamin Palmer, died last May at age 16, and two recent graduates of Fort Ann High School died earlier this year.
Mychael Flint, a 2008 graduate, died in a military training accident March 7 and Kayla Bain, a 2009 Fort Ann graduate, died in a Jan. 2 car crash in Florida.
Two other young men in their 20s from Fort Ann died in separate car crashes in Queensbury and Fort Ann in December and February, respectively.
"It has been a tough few months in Fort Ann," Van Buren said.
LaFlash was skiing on the intermediate "Banister" trail at the Queensbury ski center when he lost control in a curve and slid off into woods. He was not wearing a helmet.
The Warren County Sheriff's Office said he hit several trees and suffered severe head injuries.
West Mountain owner Mike Barbone has not returned phone calls Monday or Tuesday. A day-long party at the ski center known as the Slush Cup, in which LaFlash was to participate, was held later Saturday despite the death.