Teen dies in collision with chairlift tower at Deer Valley
PARK CITY, UTAH — A teen “succumbed to her injuries” after she collided with a chairlift tower in Deer Valley Saturday morning.
According to a release from Deer Valley, at approximately 9 p.m., an 18-year-old from Oregon was tubing with her friends when she hit a chairlift tower at Deer Valley’s Silver Strike Express.
Friends called 911 and brought her to the base of the chairlift, where the Park City Fire Department responded.
“We initially got dispatched to the site of the accident, we later learned they (friends) did bring her down in a sled lower down on the slope,” said Sean Briley, Battalion Chief for Park City Fire Department.
Briley said the woman suffered blunt force trauma but was still alive when medical crews reached her.
“We made the decision to fly her, we ordered Air-Med and determined based on their ETA to do a hot load protocol,” he said. “So that’s when we put them in an ambulance and meet them (Air-Med) in predesignated areas.”
Briley said the ambulance met Air-Med off Highway 224, and the woman was flown to the University of Utah trauma center. It was there, according to the release from Dear Valley, she succumbed to her injuries.
He said tubing on groomed ski runs is extremely dangerous, which is why it’s not allowed at many resorts, including Deer Valley.
“They don’t really realize they’re very fast surfaces, it’s hard to break, and I think with the groomed surface, it lulls them into a false sense of security, and we have had fatalities over the years,” Briley explained. “These ski runs are made to run into the bottom of the ski lifts. They’re really not designed to accommodate sledders, they’re made for skiing, snowboarding.”
“Our hearts and thoughts are with the guest’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time,” stated Deer Valley in a release issued Monday.
The teen’s identity was not released, and no other details were immediately available.
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