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Death of 7-year-old boy who fell off Tahoe ski lift probed
latimes ^ | December 22, 2011 | 4:39 pm

Posted on 12/23/2011 8:25:24 AM PST by BenLurkin

The death of a 7-year-old boy who fell 52 feet from a chair lift at a Lake Tahoe ski resort is under investigation.

John Henderson, a second-grader and a seasoned skier, was riding with fellow members of a local ski team Sunday when he fell off the Mount Lincoln Express chair lift at Sugar Bowl, a popular ski resort near Squaw Valley...

(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Local News; Outdoors; Sports
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/23/2011 8:25:27 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

That poor kid.

Prayers for his family.


2 posted on 12/23/2011 8:29:13 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: BenLurkin

Was the safety bar down...?


3 posted on 12/23/2011 8:30:08 AM PST by SandyInSeattle (Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface)
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To: BenLurkin
Sad. From his parents: "...John was always an active and rambunctious child..."

If he was with his ski team, it was possible they were horseing around the way kids do, punching each other in the arm, reaching across, whatever, and slipped under the bar.

The story give no accounts or details. No matter how it happened, it is still a tragedy.

4 posted on 12/23/2011 8:36:54 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: BenLurkin

They have some of the scariest chairlift rides around. I could barely stand it when they came to a stop and your over one of the cliffs with an amazing distance to the ground. I can’t imagine the horror not only of the fall, but of the poor kid left in the chair alone.

Just seven. There really should be an age limit older than that to ride on a chair without an adult. Seven shouldn’t be without an adult. Really. Not on those lifts.


5 posted on 12/23/2011 8:43:46 AM PST by Dogbert41 (A vote for Romney is a vote for Luke warm slop)
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To: BenLurkin

“was riding with fellow members of a local ski team Sunday..”

I’m sure those fellow members know exactly what happened — I hope it wasn’t horse play that included pushing, or someone is going to have to carry quite a load of guilt for a long time.


6 posted on 12/23/2011 8:44:15 AM PST by WL-law
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To: Dogbert41
Just seven. There really should be an age limit older than that to ride on a chair without an adult. Seven shouldn’t be without an adult. Really. Not on those lifts.

NO! NO MORE REGULATIONS! I'm sick of a perpetual nanny-state world - this is a parent's responsibility, not the ski resort's!

7 posted on 12/23/2011 8:53:16 AM PST by Yossarian ("All the charm of Nixon. All the competency of Carter." - SF Chronicle comment post on Obama)
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To: Yossarian

To a statist every tragedy is an excuse to pass a new law. We are always one law away from paradise.


8 posted on 12/23/2011 8:59:44 AM PST by DManA
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To: Yossarian

I’m with you- i am not for a GOVERNMENT regulation, but the ski resort itself could impose this rule


9 posted on 12/23/2011 9:02:45 AM PST by Mr. K (Physically unable to profreed <--- oops, see?)
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To: Mr. K

The trouble with these rules is its not really the responsibility of the ski resort to care for 7 yr olds.

Its their job to provide a safe environment against expected risks. Skiing is dangerous and you can get hurt.

Letting 7 yr olds ride a chair lift by themselves is idiotic of the parents or adult chaperones.


10 posted on 12/23/2011 9:26:07 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: DManA

Good thought. The goal of the statist is a world without risk. Every activity is regulated, and every accident is a crime.


11 posted on 12/23/2011 9:26:55 AM PST by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: BenLurkin

How sad, I doubt there was any natural snow for him to land on... Very dry up there this year...


12 posted on 12/23/2011 9:30:18 AM PST by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona)
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To: SandyInSeattle
Was the safety bar down...?

They don't all have safety bars and I suspect this one didn't.

Any number of things could have happened to a kid that size, horsing around being one of them. Or he could have been leaning forward messing with his boot like I've done many times.........

13 posted on 12/23/2011 9:38:58 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (All I want for Christmas is a nickle bag of Myrrh and a pipe.........)
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To: Hot Tabasco

True enough. He could have been horsing around, or turning to say something to another kid and slid off the seat. Or any number of things.

If it didn’t have a safety bar, it should have. Even so, I see many people on the ski lift going up the mountain with the safety bar up.


14 posted on 12/23/2011 9:45:46 AM PST by SandyInSeattle (Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface)
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To: Dogbert41
Seven shouldn’t be without an adult.

Having started skiing when I was 4, my buds and I were damn good skiers at age 7. Virtually every non school day was spent on the slopes, our parents dropped us off at 8:30 a.m., gave us money for lunch then picked us up at 5:00 p.m........

And keep in mind this kid and his buddies were members of a team and all skiing together......

I've seen adults trying to get on lifts who obviously had no business in even leaving the lodge.......

15 posted on 12/23/2011 9:50:27 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (All I want for Christmas is a nickle bag of Myrrh and a pipe.........)
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To: BenLurkin

Sugar Bowl does not have much for beginners or intermediates, the place does have some serious terrain, I have skied there back around 1990 and I actually worked for Heavenly down at South Shore.
There was a movie filmed there about a blind Vietnam vet, a really good serious and funny actor, I forget the name of the movie but the scene of the gondola being pepper sprayed was interesting, they used a gondola from another ski resort. And when the baddie was cut in half and fell down the cliff, well that was just Hollywood magic.


16 posted on 12/23/2011 9:50:27 AM PST by Eye of Unk (Castigo Cay by Matt Bracken, check it out. And his other works.)
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To: SandyInSeattle

It always blows my mind how many people I see ride the lifts with the bar up... don’t know if this happened here, as a second grader he certainly could have slipped under the bar even if it was down.


17 posted on 12/23/2011 9:52:42 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: Dogbert41
Seven shouldn’t be without an adult.

Having started skiing when I was 4, my buds and I were damn good skiers at age 7. Virtually every non school day was spent on the slopes, our parents dropped us off at 8:30 a.m., gave us money for lunch then picked us up at 5:00 p.m........

And keep in mind this kid and his buddies were members of a team and all skiing together......

I've seen adults trying to get on lifts who obviously had no business in even leaving the lodge.......

18 posted on 12/23/2011 9:54:49 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (All I want for Christmas is a nickle bag of Myrrh and a pipe.........)
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To: Eye of Unk

I just checked Sugar Bowl’s webcam. They have hardly any snow, you can see terrain poking up through what’s there.

This kid must have hit pretty hard.


19 posted on 12/23/2011 9:57:25 AM PST by SandyInSeattle (Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface)
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To: Dogbert41
There really should be an age limit older than that to ride on a chair without an adult. Seven shouldn’t be without an adult. Really. Not on those lifts.

The only way to get up the hill is on a chair lift. This particular chair was a quad - with a safety bar. Unknown if the bar was up or down, but it's not that hard for a kid to slide off the seat, under the bar, even with it down. Ski pants can be slippery, and the seats can be slippery.

With an adult on a 4 person chair - even if in one of the two middle seats, s/he may not be close enough to grab a kid sliding off. When you move to a 6 person chair - clearly all that adult could do would be to try and have the kids pay attention to their situation, as it's not possible to be close enough to everyone on the chair to intercede.

Then you have the issue of liability. In a case like this, the people on the chair were on the same team but no reports that they were siblings. The resort isn't going to staff chairs with kids on them - too expensive and too much liability. Parents usually don't ski with the team - many of them don't ski as well as their 7 year olds. Why then would a random adult - either associated with the team or not - be willing to take on the liability of the "required adult"? I often help out the ski school instructor who has a pack of kids and ride up with some of the kids on a chair. However - if I had to be a legally designated adult for that chair, I'd certainly pass and ride up with my ski buddies. Why should I put myself in that position?

A sport like skiing has many risks. Coming down the hill is usually much riskier then going up the hill. It's sad when you read these stories, but when you live around a bunch of resorts, you unfortunately see them every few weeks. Most of the tragedies happen when coming down the hill, but chair lift accidents do happen.

Thoughts and prayers with the parents.

20 posted on 12/23/2011 10:00:07 AM PST by tahoeblue
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To: SandyInSeattle

Sugar Bowl is up at the north part of the Sierra ski resorts, and often gets the nickname of “Sierra Cement” about how the snow gets turned into ice a lot, not like Heavenly or my favorite Sierra Ski Ranch, they are on the west side of Lake Tahoe, well Heavenly is at the very south part and straddles across the stateline.

The south and western resorts get more snow.


21 posted on 12/23/2011 10:03:39 AM PST by Eye of Unk (Castigo Cay by Matt Bracken, check it out. And his other works.)
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To: Eye of Unk

I learned to ski at Sierra Ski Ranch. I have fond memories of the place! (Especially that one black diamond run that I accidently went down... on my butt.)


22 posted on 12/23/2011 10:07:55 AM PST by SandyInSeattle (Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface)
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To: BenLurkin

May he RIP.


23 posted on 12/23/2011 10:10:28 AM PST by tioga ( Holder lost the guns, Corzine lost the money, Obama lost the jobs....a dem trifecta.)
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To: Yossarian
A 7 year old is small. Their feet don't reach the foot rest and can easily slip between the bar and the seat. Logic says no small child should be trying to move a safety bar. Trying to pull the bar down or lift it up can roll them out of a chair. Was he skiing with a friend? Was he with he skiing with his coach? Where was the parent? Where was the coach?

As a fully certified skiing professional, a coach and teacher who has worked at just about every job in the ski industry I've seen many close calls on and around lifts.
On many issues I'm to the right of Attila The Hun but on this issue I complete agree that company policy should not allow small children on chair lift of any type without an adult. T-bars and Pomas are fine but not chairs.

We have a company policy that makes you personally liable if you break the rules and let a small child ride a chair lift without an adult. LOGICAL!

24 posted on 12/23/2011 10:11:57 AM PST by WellyP (REAL)
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To: Hot Tabasco

As far as I know all high speed quad lifts have safety bars but not all have foot rests.


25 posted on 12/23/2011 10:15:22 AM PST by WellyP (REAL)
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To: SandyInSeattle

You know I was in my early 30’s when I was working at a maintenance shop at the upper level of Heavenly, I was a sno-cat mechanic.
Working for Heavenly gave me all the free skiing I wanted, but Heavenly has to make its own snow from time to time and around 1990 it was one of those snow-drought years. man made snow shot from water cannons all along the tracks isn’t the same. Not like good prime “corn” snow my favorite.

At Sierra Ski Ranch I would head to the very top and just cruise downhill for the about 6 miles of moderate levels, and I would do it all day long.


26 posted on 12/23/2011 10:17:22 AM PST by Eye of Unk (Castigo Cay by Matt Bracken, check it out. And his other works.)
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To: Yossarian

Who’s talking about regulation? The owners of these lifts can have their own policy that under X age and under X height cannot ride the lifts alone. You see it at amusement parks all the time.


27 posted on 12/23/2011 10:22:59 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: WellyP
As far as I know all high speed quad lifts have safety bars but not all have foot rests.

I believe you're right.....as a side note, the chair in the picture with the article has no safety bar.

The two and three seaters generally don't because those chairs are primarily connector chairs at the large resorts.

Even tho I've skied all my life, I have a fear of heights. I've been on quads that I swear were 3 miles up in the air and even with the safety bar down, I had my arm wrapped tightly around the outside arm bar........LOL!

28 posted on 12/23/2011 10:31:35 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (All I want for Christmas is a nickle bag of Myrrh and a pipe.........)
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To: Eye of Unk
I was working at a maintenance shop at the upper level of Heavenly

In my experience, Heavenly Valley is one of the nicest resorts I have ever had the pleasure of skiing. Slopes groomed to perfection allowed for lots of high speed crusing.......

29 posted on 12/23/2011 10:41:32 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (All I want for Christmas is a nickle bag of Myrrh and a pipe.........)
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To: Hot Tabasco
The chair shown is an old fixed grip triple. I think it's made by Poma, could be an old Riblet but is isn't the HSDQ on which the accident happened. Tram safety boards everywhere should dictate that all chair lifts have safety bars. Height - weight rules work.
30 posted on 12/23/2011 10:43:23 AM PST by WellyP (REAL)
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To: Yossarian; tahoeblue; Hot Tabasco

I hear what you all are saying. I guess I’m becoming over protective now that my joy is three going on four. Prayers for his parents and family for sure.


31 posted on 12/25/2011 12:56:33 AM PST by Dogbert41 (A vote for Romney is a vote for Luke warm slop)
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