West Point Cadet From Concord Dies of Injuries From Skiing Accident - NBC New York

West Point Cadet From Concord Dies of Injuries From Skiing Accident

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parents of Deceased West Point Cadet Ask for Genetic Material

    West Point Cadet Peter Zhu was declared brain dead after suffering a spinal injury in a ski accident. Being the last male child in his family, his parents asked for a judge's order to extract genetic material from his body to carry on the family name. Sergio Quintana reports.

    (Published Monday, May 20, 2019)

    The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is mourning the death of a cadet who suffered fatal injuries while skiing.

    West Point officials say Cadet Peter Zhu died Thursday of injuries he sustained while skiing on Feb. 23 at Victor Constant Ski Area on the academy grounds.

    The 21-year-old Zhu was found unresponsive by a fellow skier and was later airlifted to Westchester County Medical Center. His death is under investigation.

    West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams says the pain of Zhu's death "will be felt for a long time."

    Zhu was from Concord, California. He was president of the Cadet Medical Society and was planning to attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

    According to court papers, Zhu's an organ donor and is parents are asking or a judge's order to extract genetic material from his body as well.

    "In addition to retrieving peter’s organs to donate to others in need, we are seeking to retrieve sperm from peter’s body in order to preserve peter’s reproductive genetic material," the legal petition read.

    His parents said Zhu is the last male child of his fathers family. In part because of China's "one child" policy, he would be the last to carry on the family's name.

    "The real unique legal question here is that the material being requested to be harvested is not to save a life, but to create a life in the future. So this presents a tricky question for the courts, certainly down the road if the parents try to use this material," said legal analyst Steven Clark.

    Zhu's family is still awaiting response from a judge.

    Over 200 Volunteers from the Corp of Cadets as well as friends and company mates climbed to the ski slope in West Point Saturday where Zhu's accident occured.

    To watch the tribute video of the climb, click here.