On 16 March 2009, Richardson sustained a head injury when she fell while taking a skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec. The injury was followed by a lucid interval, when Richardson seemed to be fine and was able to talk and act normally. Paramedics and an ambulance which initially responded to the accident were told they were not needed and left. Hours later she was taken to the hospital, then flown to another hospital in New York where she died.
An autopsy conducted by the New York City Medical Examiners Office revealed the cause of death was an "epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head", and her death was ruled an accident.