1 dead; 2 injured after falling from ski lift in Colorado

Posted at 2:32 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 01:00:36-05

GRANBY, Colo. -- A mother died Thursday morning when she and her two children toppled from a Colorado ski lift, the first fatal accident since 2002. 

Emergency crews say they were on scene immediately after the fall at Granby Ranch, rushing the 40-year-old mother and her 9- and 12-year-old daughters to a local hospital.

The 9-year-old was flown to Children's Hospital in Aurora in fair condition. The 12-year-old was treated and released to family.

Medical professionals pronounced the mother dead, but have not yet identified the woman. 

The 9:30 a.m. fall from the Quick Draw Express lift drew onlookers, and authorities are asking for any video or photos from the crash to aid in an accident investigation. Those with photos or videos are asked to call (720) 371-9358. 

According to a spokesperson involved in the investigation, the family visited Colorado from Texas. The mother's death is the first-ever for the hill at the resort. 

The spokesperson expressed her condolences on behalf of the entire town, police and fire department. 

The first ski death of the season in Colorado occurred in Breckenridge on Dec. 19.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is investigating an incident.

It's not clear what lead to the fall, but ski industry data shows chairlift accidents are rare.  You're five times more likely to die in an elevator than on a ski lift, eight times more likely to die in a car.

"This is an extremely safe mode of transportation. I'm going skiing with my two kids tomorrow, and we're going to be riding chairlifts in Colorado," said Melanie Mills of Colorado Ski Country USA.
The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board inspects lifts twice a season. Once before the slopes open.  Another surprise visit occurs during the season.
Denver7 checked a state data base. The lift in Granby has an active license.


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