A Santa Rosa man died in a skiing accident last week at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.
Lewis Carrillo III, 49, hadn’t been skiing in seven years when he hit the beginner’s slope with a friend this past Wednesday, said his father, Lewis Carrillo Jr., 74, also of Santa Rosa. He said the friend was teaching his son to ski at the bottom of the slope when he somehow drifted off to the edge and fell several feet before crashing into a tree.
“He had a full life. He was only 49, but packed a lot into it,” Carrillo Jr. said of his son, who went by his middle name — Lucky.
Carrillo was not married and did not have children. He was known for his tremendous sense of humor and love for karaoke, his father said. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to UC Davis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in archaeology about 26 years ago. He occasionally worked for the state, conducting archaeological surveys on various sites, his father said.
He’d traveled to the Tahoe resort to meet with some friends who were visiting from Los Angeles and Australia after spending the past several weekends working at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City, his father said.
“He got to be with his friends Tuesday,” he said.
The accident happened the following day about 2:30 p.m., El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Prencipe said. Heavenly Mountain officials said the crash occurred near a beginner run called Poma Trail.
Ski patrol and other emergency officials responded but attempts to revive Carrillo but were unsuccessful. An autopsy was completed late last week, but the results weren’t available Tuesday, Prencipe said.
Personnel from the Lake Valley Fire Protection District responded to the accident. Firefighters had to use a rope to get Carrillo out of the sunken area surrounding the tree trunk he hit, Fire Chief Tim Alameda told a local newspaper.
“Heavenly Mountain Resort, Heavenly Ski Patrol, and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” said Mike Goar, vice president of mountain division and chief operating officer of Heavenly Mountain Resort.
The elder Carrillo said he has received calls from his son’s friends from across the U.S. saddened to learn about his death. His son spent his childhood living in various parts of the country with his mother and her husband, who was in the Navy. He then moved at the age of 15 to Santa Rosa to live full-time with his father, who also was in the Navy.
“He could make friends instantly,” his dad said. “He never judged anybody and he listened. He tried to help anybody who was in trouble. He was that type of guy who would go out of his way to meet a friend at 2 o’clock in the morning just to talk over coffee.”
For employment, he also drove a taxi and picked up some acting roles in a few small films. He had friends in the film business, said the elder Carrillo, who shared a condo with his son.
“He was a great companion,” Lewis Carrillo Jr. said.
California pot: Smoke it (or eat it) if you can get it
OAKLAND — It wasn’t exactly reefer madness Monday as California launched the first legal sales of recreational marijuana, but those who could find the drug celebrated the historic day, lining up early for ribbon cuttings, freebies and offerings ranging from cookies to gummy bears to weed with names like heaven mountain.
Jeff Deakin, 66, his wife Mary and their dog waited in the cold all night to be first in a line of 100 people when Harborside dispensary, a longtime medical pot shop in Oakland, opened at 6 a.m. and offered early customers joints for a penny and free T-shirts that read “Flower to the People — Cannabis for All.”
“It’s been so long since others and myself could walk into a place where you could feel safe and secure and be able to get something that was good without having to go to the back alley,” Deakin said. “This is kind of a big deal for everybody.”
Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo used a giant pair of scissors to cut a green ribbon, declaring, “With these scissors I dub thee free,” before ringing up the first customer at a cash register.
Sales were brisk in the shops lucky to score one of the roughly 100 state licenses issued so far, but customers in some of the state’s largest cities were out of luck. Los Angeles and San Francisco hadn’t authorized shops in time to get state licenses and other cities, such as Riverside and Fresno, blocked sales altogether.
Licensed shops are concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, around Palm Springs, San Jose and Santa Cruz, where the KindPeoples shop tacked up a banner Monday declaring, “Prohibition is Over!”
The state banned what it called “loco-weed” in 1913, though it has eased criminal penalties for use of the drug since the 1970s and was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in 1996.
California voters in 2016 made it legal for adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use limited quantities of marijuana, but it wasn’t legal to sell it for recreational purposes until Monday.
The nation’s most populous state now joins a growing list of states, and the nation’s capital, where so-called recreational marijuana is permitted even though the federal government continues to classify pot as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
The signs that California was tripping toward legal pot sales were evident well before the stroke of midnight. California highways flashed signs before New Year’s Eve that said “Drive high, Get a DUI,” reflecting law enforcement concerns about stoned drivers. Weedmaps, the phone app that allows customers to rate shops, delivery services and shows their locations, ran a full-page ad Sunday in the Los Angeles Times that said, “Smile California. It’s Legal.”
Travis Lund, 34, said he’d been looking forward while working the graveyard shift to buy weed legally for the first time since he began smoking pot as a teen.
“I’m just stoked that it’s finally legal,” he said after purchasing an eighth of an ounce of “Mount Zion” and another type of loose leaf marijuana at Northstar Holistic Collective in Sacramento, where the fragrance of pot was strong. “I’m going to go home and get high — and enjoy it.”
Find more in-depth cannabis news, culture and politics at EmeraldReport.com, authoritative marijuana coverage from the PD.