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Skier Saftey at Steamboat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
It has been 4 weeks. On March 12, 2016, I was skiing at Steamboat Springs with friends. We had done some pretty serious steep skiing and were coming down for the day. As I descended a steep area. I was careful because there  baffles set up the slow you down. As I descended I saw just seconds before our impact a snowboarder descending at a high rate of speed and out of control. He crossed over my skis. My left foot released, but from the impact. I knew something was wrong. Once I landed I looked at my boots and my foot was twisted at 45°. I started yelling out for help and the ski patrol came quickly, as did my friend Blade and later, Dave.
 
The ski patrol determined I needed a ride down to the bottom in a toboggan to be checked out. Before we left I looked over and saw the snowboarder sitting on the snow from the collision. He told me he was 34 and only been snowboarding for two years. I told him I wasn't mad, but I was in pain and hurt. The ski patrol checked our information and filled out some forms. Later I realized that these forms did not include any government ID information or ski pass information. I saw that Andreas did have a ski pass as I did with a photo ID. 
 
Once down at the base I was immediately sent to the hospital ER where are learned I required surgery for three broken bones. I had a spiral fracture in my tibia and fibula. My fibula was also broken just under the knee. That night I woke up about 11:30pm completely delirious and was told that the operation to repair my leg was successful. I now have  plenty metal in my legs hold it all together for the healing process.
 
The next day I stayed over the hospital for further recovery and was able to contact the ski area to get information about Andreas. Luckily, when my friends at taking a photograph of the ski patrol's report at the scene. Later I was realized that the ski area was not even going to give me a copy of that report. And furthermore, there was not going to be any complete information about who Andrea's really was. 
 
He listed his name as Andreas Cafuents from Winston Churchill Street and Panama Central America. He gave a phone number 507 6235 6842 , which I have called and found it to be just a voicemail in Spanish. When I got back to my hometown. I reach backed out the ski area and never was able to get from them any information about who Andrea's really was are if that information that they can't give me was of any value at all. And then I found out later that they would not give me at information even if he had. Rebecca Bale, their safety officer assured me in writing  that they could not find any information. I believe they have this information and it will not give it, but the real story is they do not collect this information at the scene of an accident are even call the police or sheriff's department as required by law.
 
When you're skiing at Steamboat Springs, you are on your own if you have an accident. They had told me in writing that the ski patrol job is to get you off the mountain, which they did, and a very good way. If you are an accident as I was with a broken leg  I was responsible to get all the contact information I could possibly could from Andreas. My friends didn't know to do this for me, nor did I asked them to. Now I realize I should've pulled out my camera, take some pictures of everybody at the scene for use later. I was too out of it to do that.
 
I believe Colorado  laws should be changed to correct this efficiency and reporting. Later I found out that I could file a police report with the Routt County Sheriff's Department because the area were I was hurt was actually in the county.  It seems like the whole business up there is to protect the ski area and not to help you out with the accident reporting . Once you are injured. I will say I received excellent treatment at the hospital in town and had a great surgery and look forward to a recovery and may be able to ski again someday after a year.
 
Mark Stangl, Boulder CO
post #2 of 5
Unfortunately, ski patrol's primary function is to care for you, not act as the police. I agree that the mountain should also be somehow providing a police function for these kinds of incidents. Some mountains have that kind of group, some don't. Some foist that function on ski patrol, some don't. I think it should not be ski patrol, because the last thing I'd want if I've punctured a femoral artery is some clown hassling me for police paperwork while my lifeblood is draining out of me, but a secondary investigative force would be good.
post #3 of 5

I hate to say it, but sounds like this is a job for a personal injury lawyer.  I remember seeing the sign many many times in Dumont on the way back from skiing -- skilaw.com I think?  Did a google search and there is a lawyer in Denver:  Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker XXX-XXX-XXXX

Spiral Fractures are bad.  Hoping you have a very good recover and can get back to skiing in a couple of years.

 

Mod note: removed phone number. 

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mse View Post
 
I believe Colorado  laws should be changed to correct this efficiency and reporting. Later I found out that I could file a police report with the Routt County Sheriff's Department because the area were I was hurt was actually in the county.  It seems like the whole business up there is to protect the ski area and not to help you out with the accident reporting . Once you are injured. I will say I received excellent treatment at the hospital in town and had a great surgery and look forward to a recovery and may be able to ski again someday after a year.
 
Mark Stangl, Boulder CO

 

It's already in the Colorado Skier Safety Act.  

 

(10) No skier involved in a collision with another skier or person in which an injury results shall leave the vicinity of the collision before giving his or her name and current address to an employee of the ski area operator or a member of the ski patrol, except for the purpose of securing aid for a person injured in the collision; in which event the person so leaving the scene of the collision shall give his or her name and current address as required by this subsection (10) after securing such aid.
 
The Season Pass Office would also have that information unless he paid in cash.
 
I can't say too much as Intrawest writes me very tiny femto-paychecks.  The above mentioned resource could be wise.
 
Unfortunately I had to fill out paperwork on Friday for perhaps similar reasons.  There was a space for an address and those of witnesses.  Every resort is different however.
 
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by neustkg View Post
 

I hate to say it, but sounds like this is a job for a personal injury lawyer.  I remember seeing the sign many many times in Dumont on the way back from skiing -- skilaw.com I think?  Did a google search and there is a lawyer in Denver:  Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker XXX-XXX-XXXX

Spiral Fractures are bad.  Hoping you have a very good recover and can get back to skiing in a couple of years.

 

Mod note: removed phone number. 

 

OP:  Better get your dates right before you go to court.

The problem is Andreas is probably judgment proof and Chalat will just go after the resort.

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