Conflicting statements in Vail ski fatality
VAIL – Investigators worked Monday to sort through conflicting information about a collision that killed a young ski racer on the slopes at Vail.Among the key questions are the speed at which Ashley Stamp of Steamboat Springs and a Vail Resorts snowmobile were traveling when they collided Sunday and whether the teenager was wearing headphones, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Shawn Olmstead said.There also are conflicting reports about whether the snowmobile’s flashing lights and siren were in use. “There is a lot of new information with witnesses coming forward,” Olmstead said.A candlelight vigil for Stamp was planned Monday evening at the Howelsen Hill ski area in Steamboat Springs.Stamp, 13, a member of the Winter Sports Club, was at Vail to participate in a race. Prior to its start, she was skiing down the Golden Peak race course on a practice run when she and the snowmobile collided as it headed uphill, Olmstead said.Early reports indicated that neither the skier nor the snowmobile driver saw one another before the accident, Olmstead said.Although the run was closed to the public, witnesses include people who were on the course, including other skiers and coaches, he said.Vail Resorts uses the snowmobiles to transport skiers to the top of the run, which is inaccessible by the lifts, he said.Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said Stamp died of blunt force injuries to her chest and ruled the death an accident.It could take several weeks to finish the investigation. The results will be turned over to the Eagle County district attorney’s office.Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said the resort is cooperating with investigators. “At this point, it’s not appropriate for me to get into anything since it’s an active investigation,” she said. Ladyga did not know whether the snowmobile driver remained on duty Monday.Stamp was a seventh-grade student at Steamboat Springs Middle School. Last April, she was one of the U.S. representatives who competed at the Whistler Cup in Canada.Her mother, Kelly Stamp, said the teenager was charming and loving. “We used to tell her, ‘Ashley, you’ve got a personality like nobody’s,”‘ Kelly Stamp told the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper. “She did. She just had a great charm.”She is the second student at the school to die in an accident this year. Seventh-grader Travis Taber died Oct. 9 in an all-terrain-vehicle accident in Moffat County.
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