Granby police release details of their investigation of chairlift accident at Granby Ranch
January 9, 2017
Sky-Hi News Staff Report
The following is from a press release sent by James Kraker, Granby police chief, to the Sky-Hi News on Jan. 9:
Information known and reported on to this point is that a ski lift accident occurred on 12/29/2016 at approximately 9:30 a.m. at Ski Granby Ranch — specifically on the ski lift named 'Quick Draw.'
It is known that a ski lift chair identified as #58, occupied by one female adult and two juvenile females struck ski lift support tower #5 and that the occupants of chair #58 fell from that chair.
The occupants fell approximately 25 feet and landed in hard-packed snow. The adult female suffered a non-survivable injury as a result of this fall and she was pronounced deceased by a medical doctor at the Middle Park Medical Center in Granby. Autopsy determined the cause of death as a ruptured aorta and blunt force trauma to the upper torso.
The juvenile females were treated at the Middle Park Medical Center with one being released from that facility and one being transferred to Children's Hospital in Aurora for further treatment.
Investigation of the incident was conducted (independently) by the following parties/agencies;
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- Ski Granby Ranch
- Granby Police Department
- Grand County Sheriff's Department
- Passenger Tramway Safety Board
- Grand County Coroner
Environmental causes were not believed to be involved as the cause of the incident. There was no weather event occurring and winds were minimal at the time of the event.
The occupants of chair #58 did not appear to contribute to this event as no horseplay was observed nor was any type of intentional or accidental fall observed or reported upon.
Granby Police personnel did witness and document a series of tests conducted by engineers of the Passenger Tramway Safety Board involving the Quick Draw ski lift. Engineers were able to identify issues within the lift electrical drive/control system that contributed to a rare dynamic event that occurred on the lift at the time of the incident.
The Granby Police Department is aware that the Passenger Tramway Safety Board determined that the lifts diesel prime mover is currently capable of safely operating the lift and that the Quick Draw lift will resume operation on 1/10/2017.