American teen killed in Swiss avalanche ID'd as Naperville Central High School student: swim coach

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Naperville Central HS student killed in Swiss avalanche: swim coach
The American teen killed in a Swiss avalanche has been ID'd as Naperville Central High School student Alex Beiga, his swim coach said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An American teenager who died in an avalanche in Switzerland earlier this week was a freshman at Naperville Central High School, his club swim coach said Wednesday.

The avalanche occurred at about 2 p.m. Monday in an off-piste area of the Riffelberg, above the Swiss resort of Zermatt and below the famed Matterhorn peak.

Three skiers died; another was seriously hurt.

Alex Beiga's swim coach at Academy Bullets Swim Club confirmed the 15-year-old was one of the people who died.

"Alex was the first one to say 'yes, let's do it, let's go make memories.' He was just so vibrant, so full of life," said Emilija Mockus, family friend. "The only calm part of me is that knowing how adventurous he was and how much he loved skiing was that he, he was looking at the most beautiful mountains."

The teen swam for both Naperville Central High School and the suburban club program. His teammates and coaches are devastated.

"He was loved by his teammates, loved by his coaches, knew when to crack a joke, knew when to be serious," said Todd Capen, head coach at Academy Bullets Swim Club.

"I'll miss his smile. I'll miss his laughter. I'll miss the way he picks up the coaches even if we're having a rough day," said Academy Bullet Coach Brian Brown. "The fact that I'm never going to see him in a pool anymore is just hard for me to comprehend."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to support his family, and had already raised over $37,000 as of Wednesday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.