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The ultimate tragedy - Page 2  

post #31 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdad View Post
Even if they are with an instructor?
Sorry, I meant unsupervised. With an instructor is fine.
post #32 of 191
Can any of you people read? Go back and read the numerous articles that are available on this accident. It wasn't the kids fault or the parents.
post #33 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Can any of you people read?
Nope, not even a little bit.

angry much?
post #34 of 191
There may be numerous articles but few of them are accurate! Of course it wasn't the kid's fault, but there were several factors that led up to his death, not just the negligence of the patroller that was trying to help someone! You can't believe everything you read!

Let's hope that something was learned from this horrible tradgedy! Let's make it manditory that any motorized vehicle on the slope have not only flashing lights, but sirens as well, and perhaps even designated trails specifically for rescue vehicles.

Getting all nasty about it doesn't solve anything!!!

~Snowmiser~
post #35 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmiser View Post
There may be numerous articles but few of them are accurate! Of course it wasn't the kid's fault, but there were several factors that led up to his death, not just the negligence of the patroller that was trying to help someone! You can't believe everything you read!

Let's hope that something was learned from this horrible tradgedy! Let's make it manditory that any motorized vehicle on the slope have not only flashing lights, but sirens as well, and perhaps even designated trails specifically for rescue vehicles.

Getting all nasty about it doesn't solve anything!!!

~Snowmiser~
Right you are, however. What works in Michagan at one ski area may not apply or work at another. Mandatory solutions are a kneejerk reaction that don't solve issues well or take into account the number of lives that have been saved through the proper and judicious use of snowmobiles.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
post #36 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmiser View Post
There may be numerous articles but few of them are accurate!

Getting all nasty about it doesn't solve anything!!!

~Snowmiser~
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post
Right you are, however. What works in Michagan at one ski area may not apply or work at another. Mandatory solutions are a kneejerk reaction that don't solve issues well or take into account the number of lives that have been saved through the proper and judicious use of snowmobiles.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I don't trust the media in most cases. I've been quoted for news articles on a few occasions, and have rarely read my quote in context. Initial articles on this tragedy showed care and concern for all parties involved, including the patroller. Now that the dust has settled, the fingers are pointing and fault needs to be found, there is no resolution in blame, only speculation.
My heart aches for all involved.
post #37 of 191
It was an accident pure and simple. There are many vehicals besides snowmobiles at ski resorts as well as other things that make n slope use dangerous. It really comes down to the skier to avoid these objects and be aware of the dangers reguardless of age. I don't know if there was negligence on the part of the snowmobile operator or not. That's possible, but I'm sure that snowmobile use by patrols will save more lives than cause injuries.
post #38 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
I could be wrong, but how often would an instructor bring kids in for a hot chocolate and go out for one last run. It sounds to me like Timmy went in to see his parents, and then went out to hook up with his group.

If in fact he was part of a formal lesson when the accident happened, where was the instructor?
You might do this if some of the kids were uncomfortable and chilled and needed a break. I have done this also and gone back out when their spirits were raised.
As far as where was the instructor. He was ,most likely ,behind his group and sent them to a waypoint of some kind.
If you drive a machine amongst slower moving people you have a responsibility to avoid them and alert them of your presence.Maybe some safety lights and a siren would be an obvious improvement to safety concerns.

His first responsibility was to the people he passed and his next was the object of his trip. It sounds like a mistake in judgement and the kid payed for it with his life.

I feel sorry for the patroller but he may deserve his guilt . The kids survivors are the ones my heart would seek to console.
post #39 of 191
Perhaps making sirens and flashing lights may be a little extreme, but if all it takes is the addition of these to any on-hill vehicle to save a person from being hit, then it would be worth the trouble. I just watched a news show today that showed almost this same problem with the golf cart like vehicles that go flying through the airports to get people to their terminals. Many people are seriously injured by these every year because they don't hear them or see them. The bill that Timmy's parents are trying to get passed for ski area vehicles may be something the airports will want to consider. It may seem like overkill, but can you imagine being in the patroller or the parent's shoes after something like this happens to your kid? It really doesn't matter who was at fault in this terrible accident. A kid died, and something needs to change so that it doesn't happen again!

~Snowmiser~
post #40 of 191
Garry,

Let's look at an analogy. Garry is driving in a subdivision and a kid comes out from behind a shrub and runs into the street. You are driving 25 mph and under control. However, it is impossible to avoid hitting the kid. Are you at fault or is it an accident?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
You might do this if some of the kids were uncomfortable and chilled and needed a break. I have done this also and gone back out when their spirits were raised.
As far as where was the instructor. He was ,most likely ,behind his group and sent them to a waypoint of some kind.
If you drive a machine amongst slower moving people you have a responsibility to avoid them and alert them of your presence.Maybe some safety lights and a siren would be an obvious improvement to safety concerns.

His first responsibility was to the people he passed and his next was the object of his trip. It sounds like a mistake in judgement and the kid payed for it with his life.

I feel sorry for the patroller but he may deserve his guilt . The kids survivors are the ones my heart would seek to console.
post #41 of 191
Accident Analysis 101

Be it industrial or aviation, whatever, the first thing you do is to assemble the chronology of known facts.

Then you couple those known facts with other factrors that are subjective but are possible or usual contributors.

Fact.

A patrol member gets dispatched to administer assistance to a downed skier/boarder

Subjective components such as the nature of the injury or what was conveyed to the partol member that may have established a "mind set" or sense of urgency. To date unknown.

Fact

The patrol member is having difficulty getting through a crowd. The vehicle has no warning lights etc.

Subjective components; why the crowd does not respond to his gestures, is it near a beginner lift? Are they teens versus adults?

Fact

The patrol member puts the hammer down after he breaks from the crowd

Subjective components; again was he reacting to the initial reported injuries that may have been critical in nature or was this just a routine injury and he just lost patience and perspective of the big picture.

Fact

There was substanial obscuration due to heavy snow.

Subjective; had patrol requested at some point in time emergency lighting? Was the "Mountain Management" just going along with some SAM "SOP" that had determined that lights are not necessary and/or they tend to frighten the "paying guests"?

Subjective; training issues regarding following the operation of snowmobiles for the staff? NSP "policies or protocols" ... ?????


Put all of the pieces together and you come up with a reasonable analysis on how to prevent such situations.
post #42 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Garry,

Let's look at an analogy. Garry is driving in a subdivision and a kid comes out from behind a shrub and runs into the street. You are driving 25 mph and under control. However, it is impossible to avoid hitting the kid. Are you at fault or is it an accident?
Mark . I see this as a much more controlled environment than an open road. The only motorized vehicles are those run by staff or patrol. I believe they need to make themselves more visible in the environment of riders approaching from any direction . The blowing wind and snow that reduces their ability to look very far ahead is not often prevelant on an open road.
It is very similar , in all fairness, to your scenario where a kid steps out (or an animal)and your ability to avoid striking them is nil.

I have been at other resorts that place a yellow light on their sleds that also have the ability to sound a siren. Some protocol to avoid this kind of accident needs to be in place to keep the space between riders and machines a safe one
post #43 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
It was an accident pure and simple... but I'm sure that snowmobile use by patrols will save more lives than cause injuries.
An accident that happened for a reason. Was it to many kids skiing at the ski area or the snowmobile moving through a congested area without lights and in a blizzard.

As for snowmobiles saving lives, no doubt, but they have to be used by highly qualified people with utmost care and under pre-determined guidelines. It surprises me that more accidents like this don't occur. When I was a kid, it was common place to see groomers at work during the day on trails that were open. You don't see that anymore and with good reason.

This doesn't sound like the type of accident that is called "no fault".
post #44 of 191
Industry wide there is a movement that has been driven by accidents like this. Many areas already DO have, safety flags, lights & sirens on their sleds. In addition there is tremendous emphasis being put on the reduction of snowmobile use.

My people are trained to ask one question before getting on a bile. "Is the snowmobile the only way to accomplish this task or is it simply the easiest way?"

As I wrote above, areas differ, my mountain layout requires that on almost every 10-50, a snowmobile will be required for some portion of the transport. We do not respond to 10-50 reports by sled due to the hazards of someone pushing their limits to reach the scene a little bit faster.

It is unfortunate that accidents like this still occur. I fear that well meaning parents who have suffered a tragedy like this are not able to discern between reasonable measures and over the top dictates.
post #45 of 191
I have no problem with warning lights and siren or beepers.

My problem is blaming the patroller without knowledge of what actually occurred. I can definitely envision a scenario that the patroller would have no ability to avoid the accident and would not not be at fault.

Let say the snowmobile is moving ahead. A group of skiers is on the left side of the direction of travel. A kid out of control skis past the far side of the group and enters the snowmo path almost at the time of impact. The group essentially screens the patroller as a forward may do to a goalie in a hockey game. In this situation, the kid is at fault for not skiing under control. Further the instructor may be at fault for not controlling the kid, or if he was taking a lesson at the time, the parent would bear some blame for letting his kid ski by himself.

At this point, I side with the patroller. If evidence comes out that shows he was at fault, then I will side with the parents. Call me a skeptic, but I see dirt bag ambulance chasing attorney and greedy parents written all over this story.
post #46 of 191
Probably should watch the personal attacks. Are you a plaintiff's attorney by any chance?

Unfortunately, plenty of parents that lose a child end up taking the low road and giving in to greed. Just because one suffers a loss, does not mean their subsequent action are virtuous.
post #47 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Garry,

Let's look at an analogy. Garry is driving in a subdivision and a kid comes out from behind a shrub and runs into the street. You are driving 25 mph and under control. However, it is impossible to avoid hitting the kid. Are you at fault or is it an accident?
Not a very apt analogy. In your instance you are driving in a public place (a public road) and not the employee of a company that is providing a service (the ski area).

In the case being examined a child has paid for a service, access to a companies property and is hit by and killed by the companies employee (the ski patrolman)

Apples & oranges.

Two very different scenarios.

The personal attacks should cease and a dispassionate discussion should continue.
post #48 of 191
Fish, without facts, speculation is useless .... what if a shrub ..

What if ... er ... the operator was out drinking last night?

What if ... er ... the throttle stuck?

What if it was ... er ... a kid he had a run in (Bode's ner-do-well cousin) ..??

What if he got a message from God to smite down the "sinner" .. ??

Sheeeeesh .. wait till the facts are in will ya.
post #49 of 191
You missed the object of the analogy. My point was that there are situations that are unavoidable accidents. If you want to legalistic, I believe that the ski ticket is a contract in which the buyer assumes liability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post
Not a very apt analogy. In your instance you are driving in a public place (a public road) and not the employee of a company that is providing a service (the ski area).

In the case being examined a child has paid for a service, access to a companies property and is hit by and killed by the companies employee (the ski patrolman)

Apples & oranges.

Two very different scenarios.

The personal attacks should cease and a dispassionate discussion should continue.
post #50 of 191
And that is useless in many courts of "competent jurisdiction".

That little "rider" is much akin to the signs on the back of the stone hauling trucks that say ... "Not Responsible For Damage".

It is a matter of law via the motor vehicle code and in this case the area and operator are bound by exercising due diligence in the case of area operations.

Quite frankly I'm suprised that there has not been (or may have been?) a challenge to states like Colorado that have it in their code of laws that areas are held harmless. Sounds like the denial of the right of due process.
post #51 of 191
I dislike that the patroller is the bad guy without any facts.

My guess is that if the patroller was truly at fault, the facts would have been published. Instead the patroller hit the kid, so ipso facto the patroller is blamed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Fish, without facts, speculation is useless .... what if a shrub ..

What if ... er ... the operator was out drinking last night?

What if ... er ... the throttle stuck?

What if it was ... er ... a kid he had a run in (Bode's ner-do-well cousin) ..??

What if he got a message from God to smite down the "sinner" .. ??

Sheeeeesh .. wait till the facts are in will ya.
post #52 of 191
My understanding is that Michigan law is very pro-ski resort, and that is the only court of competent jurisdiction that is germane in this instance.

A person can waive their right to due process, as in the case of pre-dispute arbitration agreements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
And that is useless in many courts of "competent jurisdiction".

That little "rider" is much akin to the signs on the back of the stone hauling trucks that say ... "Not Responsible For Damage".

It is a matter of law via the motor vehicle code and in this case the area and operator are bound by exercising due diligence in the case of area operations.

Quite frankly I'm suprised that there has not been (or may have been?) a challenge to states like Colorado that have it in their code of laws that areas are held harmless. Sounds like the denial of the right of due process.
post #53 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Probably should watch the personal attacks. Are you a plaintiff's attorney by any chance?

Unfortunately, plenty of parents that lose a child end up taking the low road and giving in to greed. Just because one suffers a loss, does not mean their subsequent action are virtuous.
How else should we punish parties who through neglect endanger and cause harm to innocent victims ? That is America. Other countries have the courts decide. New Zealand for one. (Remember ,Oboe?)

I don't think having them feel really bad and moving on is a good solution either. If this compels a chance to have this not repeated by threat or fear of lawsuit then it serves it's purpose.
post #54 of 191
Fish, you miss my point entirely. My point is simple regarding accident investigations. Organize a chronology of sequences and facts.

My "facts" were gleaned from the report. They are not absolute.

My comments on the subjective nature (common psychlogical/ergonomic factors) are for puroposes of illustration.

These are typical of any accident investagation by agncies like the FAA/NTSB or OSHA.

Enough "hangar flying & couch quarterbacking" .... the facts will come out eventually.
post #55 of 191
Our tort system is out of control. I have been involved in frivolous lawsuits. Many times the lawyer knows that the insurance company will settle rather than taking their chances with a jury. Especially in an emotionally charged case like this one. To paraphrase an attorney representing someone that sued me, the facts really don't matter, I have seen juries decide in opposition to the facts. For the system to work, it needs honest attorneys and plaintiffs. Unfortunately, it is a system of greedy attorneys and plaintiffs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
How else should we punish parties who through neglect endanger and cause harm to innocent victims ? That is America. Other countries have the courts decide. New Zealand for one. (Remember ,Oboe?)

I don't think having them feel really bad and moving on is a good solution either. If this compels a chance to have this not repeated by threat or fear of lawsuit then it serves it's purpose.
post #56 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Our tort system is out of control. I have been involved in frivolous lawsuits. Many times the lawyer knows that the insurance company will settle rather than taking their chances with a jury. Especially in an emotionally charged case like this one. To paraphrase an attorney representing someone that sued me, the facts really don't matter, I have seen juries decide in opposition to the facts. For the system to work, it needs honest attorneys and plaintiffs. Unfortunately, it is a system of greedy attorneys and plaintiffs.
I agree. I think having a third party settle those kinds of cases and not allowing for huge payoffs that don't seem fair for the damages caused. Something that fits the damages and is not seen as a lottery payoff.
post #57 of 191
Again, off on a vector. The issue is not tort. The issue is future accident prevention and understanding the causes of what led to the accident so that future accidents will be prevented.

Clear enough?
post #58 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Again, off on a vector. The issue is not tort. The issue is future accident prevention and understanding the causes of what led to the accident so that future accidents will be prevented.

Clear enough?
Ok Boss. See what you have done Fisch? Another hijacking. I'm sure glad I had nothing to do with it. Hey let's blame Volkskier1
Well I guess not . Everybody else gets to berate him for stuff.

Was this preventable ?
What do patrollers have for protocol at their hills to keep this from happening?
Let's hear from patrollers . They are being scrutinized here. I think other resorts have good protocol to keep these things from being likely while others might not be so well thought out.

Maybe we can shape policy elsewhere and prevent such sorrow.
post #59 of 191
It is a tort issue. The parents are suing the patroller.

As far as preventing these accidents, I would question if they are preventable. First, how often have they occurred? Second, would any changes short of not using snowmobiles would have prevented the accident? Which leads to the question, does the use of snowmobiles result in positive outcomes of incidents?

As far as tort reform, what if in cases that the plaintiff loses, the plaintiff pays the defendant the cost of his defense and the plaintiff's attorney pays the defendant the amount sued for. Not that it would ever happen, but it would bring accountability to the plaintiff's bar.
post #60 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
I have no problem with warning lights and siren or beepers.

My problem is blaming the patroller without knowledge of what actually occurred. I can definitely envision a scenario that the patroller would have no ability to avoid the accident and would not not be at fault.

Let say the snowmobile is moving ahead. A group of skiers is on the left side of the direction of travel. A kid out of control skis past the far side of the group and enters the snowmo path almost at the time of impact. The group essentially screens the patroller as a forward may do to a goalie in a hockey game. In this situation, the kid is at fault for not skiing under control. Further the instructor may be at fault for not controlling the kid, or if he was taking a lesson at the time, the parent would bear some blame for letting his kid ski by himself.

At this point, I side with the patroller. If evidence comes out that shows he was at fault, then I will side with the parents. Call me a skeptic, but I see dirt bag ambulance chasing attorney and greedy parents written all over this story.

Let's say the patroller was busy looking to his left, and telling people to get out of the way. While he was moving and when he turned his attention back forward to driving.............
he hits the kid.
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