On January 10, 2012, Burke was seriously injured while training on the Park City Mountain Resort Eagle superpipe in Park City, Utah. This is the same superpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce was seriously injured in 2009. Onlookers reported that Burke had completed a trick fairly well yet fell onto her head, and the accident did not appear to be very severe. Moments later, however, she went into cardiac arrest while still on the ski slope. She was resuscitated and airlifted to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she was reported to have been placed in a medically induced coma.
The following day, she underwent neurosurgery to repair a tear in a vertebral artery. She died of her injuries on January 19, 2012. According to her publicist, Burke's injuries had resulted in "irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest."Her organs and tissues were donated as she requested before her death. Because the event at which she fell was unsanctioned and hosted by Burke's sponsor Monster Energy, Burke was not covered under the insurance policy that applied to her when she competed for the Canada Freestyle Ski Association. The day after Burke's death, her agent established a website to raise $550,000 to help pay her estimated $200,000 hospital costs and create "a foundation to honour Sarah's legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied."On February 23, 2014, Sarah's ashes were spread in the mountains over Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Olympic Games. Her former coach, Trennon Paynter, spread them on the highest point at Rosa Khutor complex, and in the halfpipe.[
On June 12, 2012, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that Burke was inducted into the 2012 Canadian Hall Of Fame for her role in advocating for ski halfpipe's inclusion in the Olympic program.
In 2014, Burke was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame.
Burke was honoured on National Flag of Canada Day on February 15, 2014. The flag will be given to Burke's family as a tribute to her legacy.
At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the IOC refused permission for snowboarder Torah Bright to wear a tribute sticker to Burke during the Games. Before the finals of halfpipe started, the event volunteers paid tribute to Burke by skiing in a heart-shaped formation.
In March 2014, the Government of Ontario announced that it would dedicate Highway 93 in memory of her and name it as the Sarah Burke Memorial Highway. The route extends entirely within Simcoe County with its southern terminus near Barrie, Ontario, her birthplace.
Thank you Sarah for all you have done and still are doing <3