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Hofstra student killed in Vermont snowboard accident

Alex Westphal, 20, a sophomore at Hofstra, died

Alex Westphal, 20, a sophomore at Hofstra, died on Christmas Eve in a snowboarding accident in Killington, Vt. Credit: Facebook.com

From the top of a mountain in Vermont, on Christmas Eve, Hofstra University sophomore Alex Westphal snapped a picture and sent it to his parents.

About 15 minutes later, his father said, Westphal, 20, was involved in a fatal accident on his snowboard at Killington Resort.

Westphal apparently hit a pole and suffered internal injuries, Vermont state police said. Efforts to revive him failed, police said.

His father, Ryan Westphal of Cheshire, Conn., said Tuesday his son was a popular student at Hofstra who played bass guitar and piano.

"I know a lot of his friends down there are hurting right now," he said.

Next month, Alex Westphal, a business major, was planning to transfer to SAE Institute of Technology in Manhattan to pursue a degree in audio technology.

"He was really charged up about this," his father said. "He just loved music, and he loved electronic music production."

Friends have created a Facebook page for Alex Westphal, his father said.

"There's been an overwhelming response," he said. "His friends have had a lot of nice things to say about him."

Survivors include his mother, Ann, and his father.

When students return to class next week, Hofstra will offer counseling services, university spokeswoman Karla Schuster said.

"The Hofstra community extends its deepest sympathies to the young man's family and friends," Schuster said.

With Joie Tyrrell

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