Tramway board dismisses lift-accident complaint against Skico |

Tramway board dismisses lift-accident complaint against Skico

John Colson
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” A state agency narrowly gave the Aspen Skiing Co. a clean bill of health on Thursday concerning a Feb. 19 ski-lift accident in which a 10-year-old girl from Germany was seriously injured.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board voted 4-3 to dismiss a complaint by the girl’s father, who demanded that the board review the Skico’s training procedures for lift operators and the general management of the lift-op department.

Neither the father, Roman Ofenito, nor the girl, Celine, were present at the board’s hearing in Denver, but Tramway Board Program Director Charlie Adams said he would be in touch with the family about the board’s decision.

At the heart of the complaint was Ofenito’s contention that Aspen Highlands lift operators on duty at the Cloud Nine chair on Feb. 19 did not do their job, which was to see that all skiers are firmly seated on the chair and then to watch as they chairs move up the hill for a certain distance to be sure nothing goes wrong. The girl was part of a ski class loading onto the Cloud Nine lift, and Ofenito claimed his daughter was not seated properly at the lift station and started slipping off immediately, falling to the ground as the chair passed the third tower from the lift station.

For more on the board’s decision, see Friday’s Aspen Times.

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