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Bay Shore’s Peter Mathews, an airman in National Guard, dies in tragic snowboarding accident

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“Rest easy, Airman.”

Those were the words of the 175th Wing’s Facebook page after it announced the passing of Airman First Class Peter R. Mathews of Bay Shore.

According to Newsday, Mathews fell last Thursday while snowboarding at Big Snow, an indoor snowboard/ski park inside the new American Dream Mall in East Rutherford. The report said he landed on head, went unconscious and had trouble breathing. He was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. He was 24.

Mathews joined the Maryland Air National Guard in 2020, where he served as a crew chief assigned to the 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. He had hopes of one day becoming commercial pilot, like his father, his sister Sarah told Newsday.

Earlier this year, he was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for his accomplishments in a training exercise in Europe. He was part of a mission where his squadron mobilized a A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft to support two U.S. Army Europe-led exercises in Eastern Europe called “Swift Response and Defender Europe 22.”

“Peter was genuinely an amazing person, and his smile lit up the room. If you had a chance to talk to him, you knew instantly he had a remarkable future and was destined for greatness,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Golabiewski, 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted leader. “He was in the process of following in his father’s footsteps to become a pilot. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and anyone who knew Peter.”

Top: Photos of Airman First Class Peter R. Mathews of Bay Shore. (Credit: Facebook)