Hundreds line hospital halls in honor of Taos avalanche victim, organ donor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The second victim injured in last week's rare avalanche at Taos Ski Valley has died, his family confirmed.

Corey Borg-Massanari, 22, was one of two men buried in an avalanche at Kachina Peak on Thursday.

Crews were able to rescue him and airlift him to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Borg-Massanari's family released a statement Monday confirming his death.

"Corey brought joy to many and will continue to bring joy to others through his life-saving gift of organ donation," his family said in a statement to KOAT.

He was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and was raised in Brainerd, Minnesota. Borg-Massanari was attending school in Vail, Colorado, and was an avid skier. He signed up to be an organ donor before his unexpected death, and his family is encouraging others to be donors as well.

Hundreds of staff from the University of New Mexico Hospital lined the halls to honor Borg-Massanari as he was wheeled to his final surgery. This was the first time the hospital staff did what they call the "Organ Donor Walk of Honor." They say it will be a tradition moving forward.

"Corey's family would like to thank the Taos Ski Area staff, skiers and volunteers who assisted in the search for their son, and the care given by EMS and helicopter staff," New Mexico Donor Services said in a statement.

Matthew Zonghetti, 26, was also killed in last week's avalanche. Both skiers were trapped under the snow for more than 20 minutes before being pulled out.

A spokesman for Taos Ski Valley said they are currently conducting an investigation. The Forest Service will also investigate what happened.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.

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