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The ultimate tragedy - Page 3  

post #61 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
It is a tort issue. The parents are suing the patroller.

Negative. The parents are suing the ski area. The prosecutor may bring charges against the patroller.
post #62 of 191
I patrolled for ten years. Our Patrol had two snowmobiles for emergency and other use. No doubt that they are an essential part of every Patrol. I don't know the entire situation or circumstance here. Does anyone? My take, if anyone is to blame the oness should fall on the Resort. And unless the parents can prove reclessness or negligence on the part of the patroller, I don't see any good comming out of this. Wha will probably happen is the case will be settled out of court by the insurance company, as they always do, and the Resort will just pay a higher premium next year.

Snowmobile use at Resorts are common. Mountain patrol, snowmakers, maintainence and even race coordinators all had use of the Resort snowmobiles. Policy was always stay to the side of the trails and maintain high visibility. There high orange flag markers on all the sleds. Of course all had lights as snowmobile lights run constantly as the sled runs. Reguardless, accidents can happen when you put machines on the slopes with hundreds of people, especially those who shouldn't be on some hills at all. So, we can't and shouldn't put ourselves into this scenario without knowing all the facts. I'm giving the patroller the benefit of a doubt that he was a victim as well as the kid. I'm sure the family is angry and will never et over this, maybe a few million dollars will help. Ironic. But, this man also has to live the rest of his life with himself and his actions. If he's guilty, he will suffer. Even if he's not, he will have this to deal with the rest of his life. Isn't that enough?
post #63 of 191
Not that it would have likely helped in this instance, but I saw something at Keystone, CO this past season that I'm not sure I've ever seen before. On their 3-mile-long and heavily trafficed Schoolmarm beginner run they had a dedicated snowmobile lane roped off on the side of the trail and it went on for a long stretch up that trail and was super visible with bright orange markings.
post #64 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
"It appears the snowmobile driver was trying to stop but couldn't,"
Just wanted to reiterate that the patroller was going too fast to stop immediately in white out conditions. I know that this is a room full of patrollers here but come on, if you are travelling on a trail that normally sees heavy traffic, in white out conditions, and you are going any speed above a crawl, than it's hard not to assign blame to the driver of the bile.
post #65 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
Just wanted to reiterate that the patroller was going too fast to stop immediately in white out conditions. I know that this is a room full of patrollers here but come on, if you are travelling on a trail that normally sees heavy traffic, in white out conditions, and you are going any speed above a crawl, than it's hard not to assign blame to the driver of the bile.

Unfortunately Z3 it is a fact of life (in litigation at least) Speed or movement have little to do with who is at fault. If a snowmobile or other over the snow vehicle hits or is hit by a skier (whether the vehicle is moving or stopped) the resort/driver is at fault, if only for being there.
post #66 of 191
Reread it, or check the court docket, the patroller is a defendant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Wormer View Post
Negative. The parents are suing the ski area. The prosecutor may bring charges against the patroller.
post #67 of 191
Well said.

Regarding insurance the patroller may end up with a $10,000 plus deductible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
I patrolled for ten years. Our Patrol had two snowmobiles for emergency and other use. No doubt that they are an essential part of every Patrol. I don't know the entire situation or circumstance here. Does anyone? My take, if anyone is to blame the oness should fall on the Resort. And unless the parents can prove reclessness or negligence on the part of the patroller, I don't see any good comming out of this. Wha will probably happen is the case will be settled out of court by the insurance company, as they always do, and the Resort will just pay a higher premium next year.

Snowmobile use at Resorts are common. Mountain patrol, snowmakers, maintainence and even race coordinators all had use of the Resort snowmobiles. Policy was always stay to the side of the trails and maintain high visibility. There high orange flag markers on all the sleds. Of course all had lights as snowmobile lights run constantly as the sled runs. Reguardless, accidents can happen when you put machines on the slopes with hundreds of people, especially those who shouldn't be on some hills at all. So, we can't and shouldn't put ourselves into this scenario without knowing all the facts. I'm giving the patroller the benefit of a doubt that he was a victim as well as the kid. I'm sure the family is angry and will never et over this, maybe a few million dollars will help. Ironic. But, this man also has to live the rest of his life with himself and his actions. If he's guilty, he will suffer. Even if he's not, he will have this to deal with the rest of his life. Isn't that enough?
post #68 of 191
Keystone is a tad bit bigger than Alpine in White Lake, Michigan. It is a good idea if room permits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Not that it would have likely helped in this instance, but I saw something at Keystone, CO this past season that I'm not sure I've ever seen before. On their 3-mile-long and heavily trafficed Schoolmarm beginner run they had a dedicated snowmobile lane roped off on the side of the trail and it went on for a long stretch up that trail and was super visible with bright orange markings.
post #69 of 191
How do you know it was white out conditions? How do you know haw fast the snowmobile was going? I think without any facts besides a dead kid, it is difficult to assign blame to anyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
Just wanted to reiterate that the patroller was going too fast to stop immediately in white out conditions. I know that this is a room full of patrollers here but come on, if you are travelling on a trail that normally sees heavy traffic, in white out conditions, and you are going any speed above a crawl, than it's hard not to assign blame to the driver of the bile.
post #70 of 191
If the patroller was at fault, IMO charges would have been brought by now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Wormer View Post
Negative. The parents are suing the ski area. The prosecutor may bring charges against the patroller.
post #71 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Reread it, or check the court docket, the patroller is a defendant.
Reread what?
According to the news article, he has not been charged yet.

Also, what court docket? Do you have a link?
post #72 of 191
There's many ways to specualte how this accident occured and might have been prevented.

Some here seem to view this as a courageous and brave patroller trying to give comfort and aid to an injured party. The crowd is milling about the lift and he must get through to make his appointed journey. but the ignorant and stubborn riders cause him to react and make his way through their inconsoderate throng by verbally requesting they move and allow him to pass.
Once free of the mob he is on to the top at full speed yet making care not to harm any foolhardy skier that might find his path and cross it. Out of the woods a reckless 7 yr old streaks in front of him.,a foolhardy move, and is struck by the stalwart patroller on his way to an emergency.

Or. A patroller overcome by the need to provide aid quickly abandons the overriding need to assure the safety of those he may pass.
Frustrated by the crowd near the lift and screaming for them to get out of his way.He finally makes his way plowing through the throng , guns the engine and roars his way up the hill. Being somewhat aged and in blowing snow he is unable to see clearly and control the sled as well as he might have in younger days. He failed to notice the slowmoving child who was in his path. He kills the child and understanding he had caused something terrible in his mind is torn by grief and guilt for his actions.

This could be one or the other orrrrrrrrrrr. Most likely a combination of both.

I can speculate also and it is just as valid as blaming the kid for this accident and assuming the patroller couldn't be at fault.
Maybe he shouldn't be operating a sled . Maybe he just isn't cut out for dealing with emergencies ,at his age and temperment ,in a public area and all the judgements and considerations that must be made in a sensible manner to provide such aid. .
Let's let the courts decide and we can argue this point at a later date when all the testimony has been recorded.
post #73 of 191
The bigger point is, what do we learn from this and what steps are best to help prevent this type of situation in the future?

Out West this year I saw snowmobiles with flashing lights on them. They were blue and red strobes that flashed when the machine was in motion. Now with the noise that snowmobiles normally make are warning beepers, horns, or sirens needed?
post #74 of 191
That would work for almost any weather . Maybe yellow would be more visible in fog. A siren for a back up but not used often.

Your first point is what really matters. For both parties in the accident the damage is done and can't be reversed. Let's just hope some good can come of this tragedy
post #75 of 191
There could be an operating protocol established by picking apart the facts of this or any similiar accidents.

To have all of the tools avilable to the responder to get done what needs to be done as rapidly as possible relative to the conditions.

Light bar and siren ... they don't have to be used under all circumstances depending on the severity of the injury or the conditions under which the patrol is responding.

A serious head trauma or femoral hemmorage ... let em' rip.

White out conditions (fog or snow) ... siren and lights again.

Normal ankle sprain under normal lighting and vsiblilty.... go easy, go slow and skip the fireworks.

The way the response is communicated to the patrol?

BTW Fish, the tort part is a no brainer .. it was going to happen; a done deal. I prefer to look at the facts as to how to prevent future incidents.

Sounds like this family wants to have the use of vehicles limited or banned. It was hard to tell from the article.

It would be tragic to have some person "bleed out" because a rapid response was limited by statute.
post #76 of 191
Until a case is presented against the patroller, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. As far as passing new laws, I think understanding the causes of the accident is necessary, before new laws should be drafted.

My problem is that the patroller has been made the scape goat, when there has been no evidence presented to show his negligence. I also have a problem with the parents suing the patroller and the hill, without presenting a case showing them to be at fault. Yes Yuki, I know it is a done deal, but that does not make it right.
post #77 of 191
The news article. The parents have filed a suit against the hill and the patroller.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Wormer View Post
Reread what?
According to the news article, he has not been charged yet.

Also, what court docket? Do you have a link?
post #78 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
The news article. The parents have filed a suit against the hill and the patroller.
Wait a minute if you're going to cite the news article as fact then you have to believe that the patroller was travelling too fast in white out conditions.
post #79 of 191
I reread the article. It did not state that he was driving too fast or that there were white out conditions.

I did note that the mother told the ambulance driver to go faster, faster. Kind of ironic, since the patroller was in a similar situation to the ambulance driver.

I did check the Oakland County Court docket, when I originally read the article. I was hoping to read the complaint to get more information. However, the court does not have downloadable pleadings. It did however verify that the patroller is being sued.

The article also stated that the patroller was telling people to get out of the way. Not to hijack the thread, but I am amazed at how people stand still and don't move when we blow whistles, wave, and tell them to move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
Wait a minute if you're going to cite the news article as fact then you have to believe that the patroller was travelling too fast in white out conditions.
post #80 of 191
"It appears the snowmobile driver was trying to stop but couldn't,"

have you ever ridden a snowmobile? the above statement means he was going too fast.

The whiteout thing is open to interpretation.
post #81 of 191
Yes I have, and no it does not mean he was going to fast. That is your interpretation and Monday morning quarterbacking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
"It appears the snowmobile driver was trying to stop but couldn't,"

have you ever ridden a snowmobile? the above statement means he was going too fast.

The whiteout thing is open to interpretation.
post #82 of 191
fischermh,

Do you know this patroller that was involved. Because in most of your statements you seem to point the finger right at the family.

Could it be that this was just a terrible accident that happened and maybe .......just maybe the legal system is just trying to cover all aspects of what they can do and not do?

Is it quite possible that the patroller made a mistake? Maybe

We all make mistakes. Including Ski Patrollers.

According to the Oakland County court docket the suit is against Alpine Valley. The patroller is last in line of the defendants.

Don't get me wrong here I believe that the Ski Patrol is a vital part of what is necessary to maintain safety at ski areas....and I respect that.

But, seriously people. Speculating on what has happened based on news articles and heresay.


Whoever posted way back about waiting for the final outcome and putting thi thread to rest. I agree
post #83 of 191
No, I do not know the patroller.

For some reason this story evokes a response from me. First, I take exception to the patroller being portrayed as the guilty party. Second, I take exception to the idea we need more laws, especially to prevent infrequent accidents. Third, ambulance chasing personal injury attorneys disgust me, as does the way the system works to unjustly enrich those that abuse it.

Finally, I doubt very much if the truth will come out. It seems like the prosecutor is not going to press charges. I don't think the NSRB or any other government agency is going to investigate and issue a report of their findings.

Finally as a parent of a 7 year old boy, I find it irresponsible that a parent was not skiing with the child. Unless, he was in a formal lesson, which it doesn't sound to me like he was. Could a parent have prevented the accident? Maybe, maybe not, but there are many reasons for a parent to accompany his young child on a ski slope.
post #84 of 191
I thought I would chime in with my opinions...

First of all, I think an investigation needs to be completed prior to any lawsuits. If the ski patroller was 100% at fault, The family should get medical bills and pain and suffering... not millions though... maybe 100K. If the patroller had no negligence, medical bills should be paid for by the resort and that's it.

Anytime the resort I work at deals with young children, We try to only have 3-4 children per instructor on the hill.... Even less than that if it is at all possible. I think another important thing to know is how many children were with the Blizzard ski club instructor. If there were too many children, I think the parents could be help resposible if they knew that there was only one instructor for too many children.

If the child merged into a trail without looking first and got hit at that point, the child would be more responsible for it... or the guardian in this case (the instructor). Everyone is looking at the resort/patroller/parents... what about the instructor? Maybe the instructor had the most negligence. When ski patrol comes by dragging a sled, and im teaching a lesson, I do whatever I need to do to get the kids out of the way.. and this is even for two patrollers dragging a sled. If I had a child that could not ski in control and a snowmobile was coming by (You can hear them.. they aren't quiet), If I had to, I'd sit the kids on the snow out of the way so they don't "accidentally slide in it's way".

There are too many unnkowns to consider before a lawsuit is made, I think.


As far as new laws go... light racks on snowmobiles with an optional siren.... It would be worth every dime if it even saves one persons life.
post #85 of 191
I really find the many of the coments in this thread despicable. People on here stick their heads in teh sand and have been continually blaming the parents and the kid for this. It was the PATROLLER. There is no excuse for what happned. We can now at least put to rest all of teh BS claims made by fischer and others:



1. This accident happened at the bottom of the hill by the lift corral!
2. The kid was in ski school with an instructor.
3. He wasn't darting out of the trees or any other type of reckless skiing

If you want to distort the role that lawyers have in this country and distort how the tort system works and it's success in protecting people in this country and you can find some like minded ill informed people to listen to you them go ahead. But STOP distorting what happened here and stop blaming the parents and the child. They did nothing wrong.



Whats truly remarkbale is that two weeks after his death a PI was filming the exact same scene taking place with the snow mobile trying to make it's way through the crowd. This was a case akin to road rage. This self important 60 year old guy was cranky and tired of having to work his way through this crowd every weekend. He lost it pushed it and now a child is dead.



From various news media:


Timothy was with his Blizzards ski club and participating in a ski school. The boy had completed his last run of the day and was about 100 feet from the lodge when the snowmobile struck him.
Despite wearing a safety-approved helmet, Timothy, who was knocked several feet, according to the complaint, suffered severe head and brain injuries and was later pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital.




Then he went out to the slopes for one last run with his friends and their Blizzards Ski Club instructor.





And they hired a private investigator who filmed the scene on a Sunday afternoon, two weeks after Timmy was killed.
In the video, an arrow marks the spot where Timmy was hit, at the base of the slope, near the maze of skiers lining up to board the chairlift. Through the bottleneck, Alpine staff maneuvers an all-terrain vehicle in fits and starts.




Southfield attorney James A. Waske, who is also a youth program supervisor for the Blizzards Ski Club, was one of the eyewitnesses questioned by White Lake Township police.
Waske said he was standing at the base of the slope near the ski racks when he heard the engine of a snowmobile and a man yelling: "Move! Move! Get the hell out of the way!"
"I turned my head to look over my shoulder to see the snowmobile and a gray-haired gentleman wearing a ski patrol jacket and I'm thinking: What in the hell is he doing? Because he was yelling and screaming and every time he gets a little space, he guns the thing. Once he cleared the area, it was just constant acceleration.
"I then saw one kid come across the tree line at the bottom of the hill and he just whacked him. I heard the thud. Timmy was thrown back -- almost like a straight missile -- boom."
post #86 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I really find the many of the coments in this thread despicable. People on here stick their heads in teh sand and have been continually blaming the parents and the kid for this. It was the PATROLLER. There is no excuse for what happned. We can now at least put to rest all of teh BS claims made by fischer and others:



1. This accident happened at the bottom of the hill by the lift corral!
2. The kid was in ski school with an instructor.
3. He wasn't darting out of the trees or any other type of reckless skiing

If you want to distort the role that lawyers have in this country and distort how the tort system works and it's success in protecting people in this country and you can find some like minded ill informed people to listen to you them go ahead. But STOP distorting what happened here and stop blaming the parents and the child. They did nothing wrong.



Whats truly remarkbale is that two weeks after his death a PI was filming the exact same scene taking place with the snow mobile trying to make it's way through the crowd. This was a case akin to road rage. This self important 60 year old guy was cranky and tired of having to work his way through this crowd every weekend. He lost it pushed it and now a child is dead.



From various news media:


Timothy was with his Blizzards ski club and participating in a ski school. The boy had completed his last run of the day and was about 100 feet from the lodge when the snowmobile struck him.
Despite wearing a safety-approved helmet, Timothy, who was knocked several feet, according to the complaint, suffered severe head and brain injuries and was later pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital.




Then he went out to the slopes for one last run with his friends and their Blizzards Ski Club instructor.





And they hired a private investigator who filmed the scene on a Sunday afternoon, two weeks after Timmy was killed.
In the video, an arrow marks the spot where Timmy was hit, at the base of the slope, near the maze of skiers lining up to board the chairlift. Through the bottleneck, Alpine staff maneuvers an all-terrain vehicle in fits and starts.




Southfield attorney James A. Waske, who is also a youth program supervisor for the Blizzards Ski Club, was one of the eyewitnesses questioned by White Lake Township police.
Waske said he was standing at the base of the slope near the ski racks when he heard the engine of a snowmobile and a man yelling: "Move! Move! Get the hell out of the way!"
"I turned my head to look over my shoulder to see the snowmobile and a gray-haired gentleman wearing a ski patrol jacket and I'm thinking: What in the hell is he doing? Because he was yelling and screaming and every time he gets a little space, he guns the thing. Once he cleared the area, it was just constant acceleration.
"I then saw one kid come across the tree line at the bottom of the hill and he just whacked him. I heard the thud. Timmy was thrown back -- almost like a straight missile -- boom."
calm down buddy! keep this up and you won't be able to find an emergency care person in the world that will thump your chest when that coronary strikes!:

none of this so far is anything more than here say. pretty grim here say I'll grant you that but so far no one has been convicted of anything.
post #87 of 191
This is the same stuff I read about it also .
That's what I built my second scenario from. It seems pretty clear to me.

We'll see .Either way prevention is the key from this point on.

I've never seen another patroller portrayed or viewed in this fashion . He just might be one that should not be operating a sled.
post #88 of 191
You must be a PI attorney.
post #89 of 191
Volkl,

Why bother with a trial? Can't we just rely on the press and one eyewitness(eyewitnesses are not always reliable by the way).

Why such hatred against patrollers?
post #90 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Volkl,

Why bother with a trial? Can't we just rely on the press and one eyewitness(eyewitnesses are not always reliable by the way).

Why such hatred against patrollers?
Mark , we're talking about one patroller. Not all . This is no blanket perception of how patrollers might act.

Most of us see patrollers as dedicated servants of mercy who tend to us in our darkest moments. I am grateful for their presence but not all people do the right thing when under pressure. Don't percieve this as an attack against patrollers but as an opinion of what the facts presented at this time leads us to conclude about one patroller in particular. I'll butt out here Volkskier1 can speak for himself.
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