Texan sues over S’mass ski accident
September 29, 2003
A Texas woman is suing an Illinois man she claims struck her in the head with his snowboard during a blind jump at Snowmass Ski Area.
Carolyn McBeth of Richardson, Texas, claims she suffers from serious and permanent injuries. She said she was skiing with her husband and two friends on the afternoon of Feb. 22, 2002, when the accident occurred. According to the lawsuit, McBeth and the rest of her group were skiing toward the intersection of Bull Run, Adam’s Avenue and Creekside runs at the bottom of the Elk Camp chairlift.
The suit says the group was skiing toward the base of the Two Creeks lift when Matthew Kyle, a resident of Naperville, Ill., sped across Adam’s Avenue. McBeth claims that her husband saw Kyle go airborne over the lip of a jump toward McBeth.
While Kyle was airborne, he allegedly struck McBeth in the side of the head with his snowboard, and even though she was wearing a helmet, McBeth was knocked unconscious. According to the suit, one of her teeth pierced her lip and her cheekbone was fractured.
The suit claims that McBeth spent the night in the hospital undergoing tests, “coughing up blood and feeling nauseous.” McBeth says she has facial scarring, random dizzy spells, a “floater” in one eye and flashing lights in the other eye.
McBeth claims that the gentle sloping of Adam’s Avenue bisects the steeper pitches of the Bull Run and Creekside runs, carving a flat section into the downhill pitch. Because of the flat section in that area, a lip is formed on the downhill side, “allowing a skier carrying sufficient speed to cross Adam’s Avenue and become airborne for a distance down Creekside” as the steeper slope falls away, the suit claims.
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Any jumping from the lip is “blind,” meaning a person who jumps from that area cannot see the jump’s landing area or any people possibly skiing there. McBeth claims that Kyle came over the jump, did not see her and directly caused the crash.
McBeth claims that Kyle was negligent for not keeping his snowboard under control and not avoiding skiers and snowboarders. She also claims gross negligence on Kyle’s part for “purposefully snowboarding heedlessly and recklessly,” and that he should have known that his conduct was dangerous.
She is also claiming negligence per se, since she says Kyle violated the Skier Safety Act.
McBeth is asking for unspecified damages to be determined at trial, as well as court costs and attorney fees.
Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org