12 or 35, does it matter? If you hit something weird a smaller fall than that can do a lot of damage. At the same time, guys have tumbled down ravines a lot further than that but walked away with nothing worse than really bad scrapes. Height certainly adds to the risk (definitely increases the butt pucker factor) but height alone isn't the only factor in a bad fall.
The drop into Sneaky Snake last I saw it a few weeks ago was pretty rutted and ugly but it wasn't past my sketchy threshold. I'm a wimp. If it looks too sketchy, I just don't ride it. My threshhold for that is probably an order of magnitude less than some peoples.
This was an accident. We'll probably never know what happened. I'm sure the RR crew has been out there to see if there was anything wrong or preventable. Everyone just needs to be careful and understand that mistakes can happen, even to the best riders. Those mistakes are rarely forseeable, and the consequences can be dire. Be smart and understand the risks.