A fatal chairlift accident left a woman dead after she fell onto hard-packed snow. According to news out of Denver, the charlift at a ski resort hit a support tower due to electrical problems. The woman, who was riding with her daughters, was thrown from the lift and fell approximately 25 feet to her death.
The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board looked into the incident and reported that problems with the drive and control system had resulted in the collision. The 40-year-old woman's children, daughters ages 9 and 12, were also thrown onto the ground. The two girls were injured but survived the incident.
A witness at the scene reported that the lift had been getting stuck for several days before the incident. Every time it stuck, it would bounce and sway, making it possible to be thrown from the lift's chair. Since it had been happening over time, it's not clear if the facility knew about the hazard.
Chairlift falls don't happen often, and when they do, they're more likely to be caused by mistakes by riders or medical problems that cause a rider to lose his or her balance. The last reported incident was in 2002 when a manager suffered a seizure and fell 15 feet from a lift.
Situations like this are terrifying to watch and horrifying for family members who get hurt or have to watch a loved one die. Those who have been in these situations have the opportunity to seek a claim against the person responsible for their injuries, whether that's a business owner or the driver of a vehicle.
Source: CBS News, "Investigators identify cause of fatal Colorado chairlift accident," accessed Jan. 12, 2017