Skier dies after fall from lift
November 29, 2007
A 19-year-old Stateline man died after falling 30 feet from the Dipper Express chairlift at Heavenly Mountain Resort on Wednesday, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
Ryan Donald Moore fell from the chairlift at about 11:30 a.m. after leaning forward to care for a leg cramp, according to a news release from Heavenly. The restraining bar on the chairlift was not engaged, the resort said.
Moore was accompanied on the chairlift by another rider, according to the sheriff’s office.
“By all appearances, this was an accident,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Les Lovell.
One engine company and a medical unit from the Tahoe Douglas Fire Department responded to the scene. Moore suffered major trauma from the fall and was airlifted by CALSTAR to Barton Memorial Hospital, the sheriff’s office said. Additional lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.
Moore was pronounced dead around 12:46 p.m.
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Moore was not wearing a helmet at the time of the fall and landed on terrain that was not covered with snow, said Heavenly Mountain Resort spokesman Russ Pecoraro.
Heavenly encourages riders to use the restraining bar on its lifts, although it’s not practical to require every rider to do so, Pecoraro said. Using the restraint is part of the skier code of responsibility, which is posted on lift towers.
“We always encourage people to put the bar down,” Pecoraro said. “That’s one of those things that’s hard to police.”
Pecoraro said the resort would evaluate possible changes to its safety policies after the investigation into the incident is complete. He said Heavenly would remain open for skiing today.
Moore was originally from Santa Ynez and was living in Stateline with roommates, Lovell said.