Bull: Ski collision deserve serious investigations
Ryan Summerlin March 25, 2013
First of all, I respect the job that John Minor, as sheriff, performs regarding typical criminal law enforcement. I respect John Minor as a person and hopefully am respectful when I see him in the courthouse or at City Market. I investigate and prosecute, civilly, ski collision-incident cases as a profession. Not cases against ski areas, but person-to-person incidents. I hire local experts. These are the noted safety professionals that have created a life’s profession generating a safer skiing experience for us all. What I have found is that investigation of skier-to-skier incidents is not consistent from resort to resort. There are no common standards. Some investigations are good. Some are hardly worth the effort. Then, there is an inherent automatic conflict with an employee of a resort investigating the case of an accident that potentially involves the resort. Strike two. So, for Sheriff John, to “suspect” that all the reporting is “factual” when it involves the resorts is rank speculation. Good hearted, but pure guess work on his part. Strike Three. As far as skier-to-skier collisions that violate the Colorado Skier’s Responsibility Law, there is scant investigation, in my experience, by Sheriff John’s team, (by his own admission) unless someone is killed. Why is it OK to investigate a fender bender on I-70 but not a serious collision involving injury on one of the resort slopes? I suspect that there are plenty of seasoned and skilled skiers out there, who are independent of the resorts, who would volunteer to assist the ski patrols to add to the industry’s reputation for consistency and independence. We did it on Lake Dillon for a while until guns were required to be carried. Then we wouldn’t be having three-part stories in The Post.
Jim Bull, Frisco