Investigation continues into fatal chairlift fall | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Investigation continues into fatal chairlift fall

Kevin MacMillan
kmacmillan@sierrasun.com

NORDEN, Calif. – State regulators and Sugar Bowl Ski Resort officials continue to investigate varying eyewitness reports regarding what led to a 7-year-old boy falling 60 feet off a chairlift Sunday.

The boy, who died Tuesday morning from injuries suffered in the fall at the Donner Summit ski resort, was identified Wednesday by family and friends as John Henderson from Davis, Calif.

“Working in close conjunction and in full cooperation with regulators from the State of California, the investigation to determine the exact facts of the incident is ongoing,” said John Monson, sales and marketing director at Sugar Bowl, on Thursday. “The lift itself, a high speed quad, has been inspected, and showed no signs of malfunction.”

According to previous reports, Henderson, a member of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, fell from a chair off the Mt. Lincoln Express lift onto a hard-packed surface that was only partially covered in snow. Henderson, who was wearing a helmet, was riding with two other ski team members of around the same age.

Henderson was transported via helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he had surgery Monday to remove portions of his skull to relieve building pressure on his brain.

Further details, including if the chair’s safety bar was down or not at the time of the fall, remain unclear as of Thursday.

“As with any incident witnessed by a number of people, there are varying reports that we are trying to reconcile,” Monson said. “There are inconsistent reports on whether the bar was up or down – we are investigating this further.”


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