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Mother killed, daughters injured in fall from Colorado ski lift

Most Colorado natives and tourists alike enjoy our many ski resorts every winter with no injuries or perhaps a broken bone here or there. For one visitor, however, a day of skiing ended in tragedy last month.

A 40-year-old woman died and her two daughters were injured when they fell from a ski lift at Ski Granby Ranch. The resort is located in Granby, which is about 90 miles from Denver. Investigators say that the three fell about 20 feet.

The younger daughter, who is 9 years old, was taken by air to Aurora's Children's Hospital. Her condition wasn't made public. Her older sister, who is 12, was reportedly treated and released from a nearby hospital.

The coroner said that the Texas woman died as the result of blunt force trauma and a ruptured aorta.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fall from the Quick Draw Express lift, which has remained closed since the incident. It hasn't been reported whether the victims were using the safety bar on the lift.

Despite the large number of skiers that flock to our mountains every year (accounting for approximately 20 percent of all ski trips), fatalities on ski lifts are rare. The last fatality resulting from a fall occurred when the manager of a ski resort fell from a lift after apparently suffering a seizure. However, ski lift malfunctions have also caused fatalities over the past 40 years.

Obviously, a thorough investigation into any such incident is required to determine whether there was indeed a malfunction of the lift or if safety precautions were lacking. Experienced attorneys work to determine whether the resort, the lift manufacturer and/or personnel can and should be held liable when there are injuries or worse.

Source: CBS Denver, "Ski Lift Where Women Fell To Death Remains Closed," Dec. 31, 2016

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