Chelone Miller, the 29-year-old brother of Olympic skier and gold medalist Bode Miller, was found dead in his van on Sunday of unidentified causes.
According to the Daily Mail, Miller’s body was discovered by a close friend who alerted the Mono County Sheriff's Office in Bridgeport, Calif., at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Sunday. The sheriff’s office immediately sent emergency workers including paramedics, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies to the scene, but they were unable to revive Miller.
In a statement, the sheriff’s office said that upon their arrival, “It was determined that Mr. Miller was deceased.” The sheriff’s office said that Miller’s death was still being investigated but that they did not believe there had been foul play.
At the time of his death Miller had been following in his older brother’s footsteps and pursuing his dream of becoming a professional snowboarder. Although Miller suffered from health complications after being seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in 2005 that left him in a coma, he achieved success as a snowboarder. He finished in fourth place at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, which ended in February, and hoped to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in snowboardcross.
Miller said of the accident that he had suffered from memory loss for over a month after waking up from the coma. After recovering, he began suffering from seizures; his first occurred while he was riding a chairlift and ended with him falling 25 feet to the ground.
Bill Marolt, the president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said in a statement that, “Chelone Miller was an aspiring elite athlete who had made great progress as a snowboardcross rider this past season. We are all deeply saddened at the news of his death and extend our condolences to the entire Miller family.”
"He was a very talented snowboarder and a great friend," John Teller, a skicross racer and X Games gold medalist said.
Miller’s older brother Bode, an alpine ski racer with five Olympic medals, narrowly avoided tragedy back in December, when he nearly blinded his wife with a golf ball. Miller’s wife, Morgan, had reportedly been hiding behind a tree when Miller hit her in the eye with a line drive traveling at 160 mph. Fortunately, Morgan Miller was wearing protective glasses at the time, and did not lose her eye.
While Bode Miller has not yet released a statement, his wife, Morgan, tweeted on Monday, “Keep those you love close and remind them everyday how special they are. Life is so precious and fragile.”