DAVIE, Fla. – Loved ones are mourning the loss of a South Florida man who was killed last week in a skiing accident.
Matthew Montag, 36, was born and raised in South Florida, graduated from Nova High School, was a student athlete and eventually developed a love for skiing. That's how his life tragically ended in an accident last week.
"He was a beautiful soul, inside and out," the victim's mother, Jackie Montag, said.
Jackie Montag is holding onto the memories a little tighter as she and her husband, Barry Montag, mourn the death of their youngest son.
Matthew was on a ski trip in Montana with two friends last Friday and was going down a black diamond run at the Big Sky Resort when the accident happened.
"That's all we know is he was skiing in Montana on one of those slopes and he crashed into a tree. He must’ve lost control," Jackie Montag said.
The crash happened one day before Matthew's 37th birthday.
Matt was thrilled to be in the mountains, sharing that excitement through photos on his Instagram page.
Matt, who was wearing a helmet when he crashed, was found by other skiers, who performed CPR.
"He wears all safety gear and its mostly new stuff," Barry Montag said. "So he kept his safety gear properly maintained and replaced (it) when he needed to. It's just an unfortunate accident."
"I keep thinking someone's going to call and say, 'Oh, we made a terrible mistake. You know, he's fine.' But I know it's not true," Jackie Montag said.
Family photos fill the walls of the Montags' Plantation home.
They said the support from their synagogue, family and friends are helping them as they remember Matt -- a physical therapist who loved nothing more than his wife, family and a day on the slopes.
"If we had to lose him, it wasn't to cancer or suffering three months or years, someone murdered him. You know, he loved what he did," Jackie Montag said.
Hundreds of Matt's childhood friends from South Florida attended a memorial service for him earlier this week. Another memorial will be held this weekend to honor his life where he was most recently living, in Washington, D.C.