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post #31 of 53

I was curious about the circumstances of the death and I checked some other stories.  They mentioned she possibly fell into a tree well.  Now it starts to make tragic sense. If she flipped over, and she couldn't get her boots detached, she might have settled for taking the boots off. Struggling in a tree well is exhausting.  I can imagine now how it might happened. Wearing sweats, she could have gotten very cold very fast.

 

Very sad.   

post #32 of 53

 

Quote:

One of the feature stories is the one that was discussed recently on the board about the boy that ran over a guy's skis who then threatened to sue him and his family, and who later tracked down the kid and his family and put them through a long, stressful, expensive law suit.

 

Quite a story.  I thought I'd look into who sued:

 

The Pennsylvania couple suing an 8-year-old and his father over a January skiing accident have been the victim of "an electronic tar and feathering" since stories about the case began circulating on the Internet, the couple's attorney said Monday.

David Pfahler and his wife, Marlene Ambrogio, have had to leave their Allentown home for the holidays because people who got angry after reading the story tied up the family's phone lines using "robocalling" technology, or repeated, automated calls, attorney Jim Chalat said.

Others have called Reader's Digest, where Pfahler works, and demanded he be fired.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Chalat, whose Denver law firm also has received angry e-mails and calls.

He said the couple are "brokenhearted" by the way they've been portrayed.

 

And the other side:

 

Chalat said the impact was so strong that Pfahler was thrown and landed with his skis in the air.

He was taken to a local hospital, where his shoulder was immobilized. He returned to Pennsylvania, where he underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and a procedure to repair part of his clavicle, the lawsuit states. Since then, he has undergone "extensive" physical therapy, according to the lawsuit.

Chalat said Pfahler sent a letter to the Swimm family after he returned home, asking them to help pay his $35,000 of medical bills. He never heard back, Chalat said.

The Swimm family could not be reached Monday afternoon to confirm or deny Chalat's version of events.

 

 

I don't really know what to make of this one, except that a national health care plan might help.

post #33 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis View Post

I was curious about the circumstances of the death and I checked some other stories.  They mentioned she possibly fell into a tree well.  Now it starts to make tragic sense. If she flipped over, and she couldn't get her boots detached, she might have settled for taking the boots off. Struggling in a tree well is exhausting.  I can imagine now how it might happened. Wearing sweats, she could have gotten very cold very fast.

 

Very sad.   


I remember the initial news reports of this.  Initially it was thought the above was the scenario & she suffocated. Then hypothermia was the determined cause of death.  An article that week was titled Cotton Kills , reporting the hypothermia  as the cause and cautioning about wearing cotton in snowsports.
 

 

An article I just read http://www.uniondemocrat.com/2009021895982/News/Local-News/Snowboarders-cause-of-death-under-investigation   conflicts with a number of other articles and presents a little different story.  I can imagine the parents are seeking to know or understand better what transpired.

 

Consider how difficult it is for the parents to obtain factual copies of reports.  Surely they have a death certificate, but may not have been able to readily obtain copies of all the  complete authoritative  reports.  Obtainable through channels & the information act.But you have to know the procedure(s), and it's rare to find someone who freely walks you through the process. Hence retaining an  attorney would make the process much simpler and complete, covering all bases. Especially so for parents who live outside the U.S. as the article indicates.

post #34 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

When I was around 13, skiing in Germany where you had to hike up the hill, I got so tired I just lay down in the snow to rest "a little...". I woke to a German woman shaking me and saying: "du muss nicht schlaffen!". So, though it seems nuts someone would just lay back for a rest, I know it can happen.


Among the stages a hypothermic person goes through after the shivering stops,is a feeling of warmth, confusion and lethargy. "Not Without Peril", a book that chronicles the deaths on Mount Washington, gives many examples of people who just wanted to lay down and apparently give up.
 

It astounds me that someone can reach this point at a ski resort when we're minutes away from a warm lodge, but ski patrol has taken people out of a liftline corral, steps from the base lodge suffering some serious mild hypothermia.

 

I doubt we'll ever have a definitive answer as to cause of death. Hypothermia could be it, or it could be a symptom that resulted from something else undetectable. Even her body position can be misleading, as hypothermia can lead to the victim shedding their clothes, burrowing into the snow, or other irrational behavior.

 

In any case it's a pity, from the accounts I've read she seemed like a beautiful and positive young lady who should have had a long wonderful life in front of her. My heart goes out to her family.

 

post #35 of 53

It is really unfortunate...

The reaction, on hearing that someone has died, ought to be "what can we do (if anything) to prevent this sort of tragedy in the future"

Then we could look at causes, see if any could be controlled or if they are just intrinsic to the sport ('cause yeah, this sport has risks which I think we should not get rid of... I don't want all runs to be groomers, etc)

But... as soon as you suggest that there is something that could be done, there is a lawsuit.

Somehow, the system seems broken...

post #36 of 53

This is a very sad news.  My heart goes out to the parents for their lost. 

 

As a parent, grandparent, ski patroller and someone who just skis a lot,  I personally would  like more details.  With more knowledge perhaps we all can better understand what went wrong and we all can help prevent this from occuring. again.   

post #37 of 53
Thread Starter 

 See post 10 and the link on post 18 for details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

This is a very sad news.  My heart goes out to the parents for their lost. 

 

As a parent, grandparent, ski patroller and someone who just skis a lot,  I personally would  like more details.  With more knowledge perhaps we all can better understand what went wrong and we all can help prevent this from occuring. again.   


A couple of things come to mind. The main one is, if the brother would have waited 15 or 20 minutes then taken chair 5 back up (a five minute ride) to retrace his last ride, perhaps he would have found his sister. If I am skiing with someone and they fail to show up after a run I don't just go my merry way. I wait. I retrace my last run and look for my ski partner. I contact the ski patrol.

 

Suing the resort will not bring their child back. Nor will it make Dodge any safer. Dodge has urged people to not ski alone in hidden or remote areas for this very reason. I feel sad for the family, but since you asked...
 

post #38 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post

 See post 10 and the link on post 18 for details.


A couple of things come to mind. The main one is, if the brother would have waited 15 or 20 minutes then taken chair 5 back up (a five minute ride) to retrace his last ride, perhaps he would have found his sister. If I am skiing with someone and they fail to show up after a run I don't just go my merry way. I wait. I retrace my last run and look for my ski partner. I contact the ski patrol.

 

Suing the resort will not bring their child back. Nor will it make Dodge any safer. Dodge has urged people to not ski alone in hidden or remote areas for this very reason. I feel sad for the family, but since you asked...
 

This is not what I meant by more details.  I just wanted the facts.  What was her  previous medical history that may be pertinent.  Was she a diabetic?  Did she have any trauma injuries that may have occurred that day. What was the cause of death?  Did NARSIDS cause or contribute to what happen?  Did she have a way to communicate with others in her group (e..g cell phone)?  Did she make any phone calls.  Did anyone call her cell phone.  What is area protocols for patrolling trails during the day?  What tools were used to find her.  Unfortunatly given todays privacy laws we will never know any of these facts.   If the family releases this information we may be able to reduce the probability of this ever occuring again.  All of us can always do better.  Without the knowledge and the real facts we don't have a chance to make it better next time. 

 

 

post #39 of 53
 I know this thread is very old, but i would like to get my words in.

I knew Alene. She was in my 5th grade class, and in the same schools all the way up to senior year when the moved to SB. She was a very fun girl, and pretty smart too. My friends and I are still dumbfounded as to what happened to her. The story about her falling into the tree well and gettign stuck seems likely. If she could not reach her bindings undoing her boots would be a likely response. But wearing sweats is probably what killed her. She could have sat there for a long time if she had on some good waterproof ski equipment. It is a tragedy what happened to her, but in no way is it the ski resorts fault. I have also been skiing Dodge since i was a kid, and if anybody ever tried to hurt that place i would go on a rampage. They dont deserve any of the bad publicity they got from this whole ordeal. But it's typical that stupid people would think a resort is unsafe because someone had a freak accident that could happened anywhere.
post #40 of 53
That sad to hear. It is always not a pleasant thing to hear when someone passes on.

I may be only 22 years old. But, I have created a living will in case something should ever happen to me.
I clearly have a section of my will that states I personally nor shall my family sue a resort for an accident that a result of my actions or mistake. I stated that I accept the risk and liability for my own actions. I also have defined the skiers code of responsibility in my living will.

Now if some yokel hits me from behind at mach one then its a free for all for me or my family suing the crap out of that person. Because I was not liable. But, I do take responsibility for my own actions in case I fall, do something stupid, or am in an avalanche. I know the risks associated with the sport and I am willing to accept the potential consequences.

I put this in there because I hate freeloaders or people looking for handouts.
Edited by Ole703 - 10/21/09 at 9:33pm
post #41 of 53
So now that this thread has been resusitated (too bad we can't bring people back to life this easily) does anybody have an update?  Has a suit been filed? Did the resort settle?
post #42 of 53
Yeah, the parents son is such a little angel. The 60 year old man "just lost his balance".  Sure, that is why he has the medical problems he does.  The kid is a irresponsible little brat.  Irresponsible little brats can KILL PEOPLE DUE TO THEIR NEGLIGENCE!  If this was 20 years ago, The victims wife would grab the kid, flip him over her knee, and tan his little butt.

AND YOUR KID IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING ABLE TO AVOID PEOPLE BELOW HIM!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 

 

Quite a story.  I thought I'd look into who sued:

 

The Pennsylvania couple suing an 8-year-old and his father over a January skiing accident have been the victim of "an electronic tar and feathering" since stories about the case began circulating on the Internet, the couple's attorney said Monday.

David Pfahler and his wife, Marlene Ambrogio, have had to leave their Allentown home for the holidays because people who got angry after reading the story tied up the family's phone lines using "robocalling" technology, or repeated, automated calls, attorney Jim Chalat said.

Others have called Reader's Digest, where Pfahler works, and demanded he be fired.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Chalat, whose Denver law firm also has received angry e-mails and calls.

He said the couple are "brokenhearted" by the way they've been portrayed.

 

And the other side:

 

Chalat said the impact was so strong that Pfahler was thrown and landed with his skis in the air.

He was taken to a local hospital, where his shoulder was immobilized. He returned to Pennsylvania, where he underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and a procedure to repair part of his clavicle, the lawsuit states. Since then, he has undergone "extensive" physical therapy, according to the lawsuit.

Chalat said Pfahler sent a letter to the Swimm family after he returned home, asking them to help pay his $35,000 of medical bills. He never heard back, Chalat said.

The Swimm family could not be reached Monday afternoon to confirm or deny Chalat's version of events.

 

 

I don't really know what to make of this one, except that a national health care plan might help.

post #43 of 53
No tree well, no trauma.  Just sweat buttoms (not water resistant) on a freezing snow day.  I hope they dont sue the resort. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis View Post

I was curious about the circumstances of the death and I checked some other stories.  They mentioned she possibly fell into a tree well.  Now it starts to make tragic sense. If she flipped over, and she couldn't get her boots detached, she might have settled for taking the boots off. Struggling in a tree well is exhausting.  I can imagine now how it might happened. Wearing sweats, she could have gotten very cold very fast.

 

Very sad.   

post #44 of 53
Yes I would. Even if a law suite arises from this I don't see it as necessarily a bad thing. Checks and balances help keep us all "reasonably safe" I'm not saying that this situation the resort did anything wrong at all , but it helps keep the resorts on their toes towards safety issues . Kindda a due diligence kindda thing. I believe that sometimes people take advantage or try to take advantage of the system as it exists, this goes on at both ends and is part of the checks and balance.
It sucks that anyone ever loses a loved one before their time.
I would like to believe that it is a fact finding thing also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by B R View Post

 

 

You've brought up an excellent point.

 

If you had the cash, wouldn't you hire an attorney to find the answers that troubled you?  I think we owe the parents of the girl the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

post #45 of 53
Dodge Ridge.   A lot of comments, conjecture, guessing etc. here on the young lady who died.   No one really knows what happened. Epic sounds like a TV talk show and it is amazing how many comments, illogical and unsubstaniated conclusions can be made when no one really knows the facts.

There is a coroners report that is public information.  These reports contain FACTs.  Why don't one of your computer whizzes access the facts.

As for law suits - anyone can file a law suit, that doesn't mean they have a legitimate case.  I've been sued 4 times and told the attorney to "lets go to court", otherwise I refuse to talk to you.  Court cases: 1 and I won hands down. 

FACTS I ONLY WANT TO HEAR THE FACTS.
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveys View Post

Yeah, the parents son is such a little angel. The 60 year old man "just lost his balance".  Sure, that is why he has the medical problems he does.  The kid is a irresponsible little brat.  Irresponsible little brats can KILL PEOPLE DUE TO THEIR NEGLIGENCE!  If this was 20 years ago, The victims wife would grab the kid, flip him over her knee, and tan his little butt.

AND YOUR KID IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING ABLE TO AVOID PEOPLE BELOW HIM!!
 


 

Were you there Stevey?  Just wondering.  I wasn't. 

Seems that once again, you know everything about everything.  You should really find somewhere other than the 'net to hang out. 
post #47 of 53
Quote:
A teen age snowboarder, for reasons unknown stops by a tree in a non remote area near chair 5, Takes off her boots and sits down. Boots are still connected to her board. She is only dressed in cotton sweats. She died. ...It was snowing and we received 16 inches over the course of the day.... She was found an hour after being reported missing under a 12 inch layer of snow
Quote:
 ...maybe she was already hypothermic, which can produce sensations of being hot as well as bad judgement.
Yes, talk to the shyster, at his expense if any costs are incurred, and educate him about normal skiing garb, parents' responsibility for getting their kids properly clothed, and usual and expected skier or rider personal responsibility about skiing or riding on runs that suit the person's ability, maintaining contact with others in case of difficulty, etc.  Suggest that the parents were criminally negligent sending their daughter out in the snow wearing cotton sweats.
post #48 of 53
go wrc and sebastian loeb! nascar is such a ridiculous activity

edit- wow this thread is so old oops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

 

 

This is the Fricken'  USof A... it's ALWAYS someone Else's fault. What are you, a socialist or something???

 

Here we drink 'Lite' bear (yeah, spelled L-I-T-E), race cars in circles and never ever take responsibility for our own actions.

 

(oh yeah, 'Rossi'... FRENCH, figures.)

post #49 of 53
Ok, what could be done?  They could of not should her a lift ticket for wearing clothing that was not close to warm enough.  They could of not let her on the lift for the same reason.  I have read that people doing park are going without gloves.  Should these people not be allowed on the chairlifts?  The girl died because she wore sweat pants on a freezing snowing day and froze to death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazam! View Post

It is really unfortunate...

The reaction, on hearing that someone has died, ought to be "what can we do (if anything) to prevent this sort of tragedy in the future"

Then we could look at causes, see if any could be controlled or if they are just intrinsic to the sport ('cause yeah, this sport has risks which I think we should not get rid of... I don't want all runs to be groomers, etc)

But... as soon as you suggest that there is something that could be done, there is a lawsuit.

Somehow, the system seems broken...

post #50 of 53
The coroners report stated no trauma and COD was from hypothermia.  She was wearing sweat pants and a cotton shirt in freezing weather and snow. 
Coincidence that she was wearing sweat pants and a cotton shirt in freezing snow and died of hypothermia???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Dodge Ridge.   A lot of comments, conjecture, guessing etc. here on the young lady who died.   No one really knows what happened. Epic sounds like a TV talk show and it is amazing how many comments, illogical and unsubstaniated conclusions can be made when no one really knows the facts.

There is a coroners report that is public information.  These reports contain FACTs.  Why don't one of your computer whizzes access the facts.

As for law suits - anyone can file a law suit, that doesn't mean they have a legitimate case.  I've been sued 4 times and told the attorney to "lets go to court", otherwise I refuse to talk to you.  Court cases: 1 and I won hands down. 

FACTS I ONLY WANT TO HEAR THE FACTS.
post #51 of 53
I wonder if this girl was already hypothermic when she sat down and removed her boots. She was, evidently underdressed for conditions. Victims of hypothermia have been observed to exhibit similar behavior such as removing gloves or mittens. Mountaineering victims who had chosen to bivuoac have been seen to have crawled out of their sleeping bags etc.Chances are she was already in serious jeapordy before she sat down. An issue then arises as to the conduct of people who were skiing with her and who may have been in contact with her. Speculating beyond the facts to affix blame or censure serves little pupose and perhaps reveals more about ourselves and whatever baggage we may be carrying.
post #52 of 53
Cotton kills. 
post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

I saw the post on TGR and thought the humble attitude expressed there was commendable.  As I recall your son commented he could have skied within a few feet of her and not seen her.   If only...

 

Its sounds like there are no more answers now than there were on that day when this baffling accident occurred.  Other than the apparent fact, the young lady was not dressed for skiing or boarding, we know almost nothing about her.  I don't see how a law suit can do anything to honor her passing, and instead would likely result in the defense being forced to bring forward evidence that lays the blame with the parents or her. 


Occasionally I see a picture or a brief video of some dingbat actress snowboarding in "club wear", usually on a green hill. I really think young kids try to emulate these dingbats.If Brittany Spears is seen wearing some goofy hat, guarantee, you will se the same hat all over the local mall in a week. At 19, you should be able to recognize that  you are not appropriately dressed for what ever outdoor activity you are about to participate in.

No doubt a million or two will help the family cope with this tragic loss that is so obviously the fault of the resort for not closing down during a snowfall. 



   
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