Skier slips through gap in chairlift, suffocates to death after his coat gets caught

Colorado resort, Skier

The initial investigation found the chairlift's folding seat was upright instead of in the down position.



By Web Report

Published: Mon 17 Feb 2020, 9:23 AM

Last updated: Mon 17 Feb 2020, 11:27 AM

In a bizarre tragedy, a 46-year-old skier who was in a chairlift seat at a Colorado resort, died of suffocation after he slipped through an opening and his coat got wrapped around his head and neck.  
The skier from New Jersey was identified as Jason Varnish whose death has been ruled an accident but investigation is on.
The Eagle County Coroner, Kara Bettis, said that the skier died of positional asphyxia on Thursday at Vail Mountain's Blue Sky Basin area. She added that initial investigation found the chairlift's folding seat was upright instead of in the down position, leaving a gap, Daily Mail quoted Vail Daily reports.
"The coat ended up going around his head and neck area putting his neck in a position that compromised his airway," Bettis said. Following the tragic death, Blue Sky Basin was closed for about 24 hours. 
While Vail Resorts said a statement: "We take all incidents seriously and are conducting a full investigation. The lift has been thoroughly inspected and is operating normally."


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