Friday, November 30, 2012

Skier dies after fall from chairlift

Cause of death under investigation

Express Staff Writer

A Sun Valley and Seattle resident died Wednesday after falling from the Christmas chairlift on Bald Mountain.

Blaine County Coroner Russ Mikel said the man, 56-year-old Dana Mower, was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Wood River at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Sun Valley Co. spokesman Jack Sibbach said the Sun Valley Ski Patrol became aware of the incident at 3:47 p.m. when patrollers got reports of a downed skier under the Christmas chairlift, which transports skiers from the Roundhouse area to the Lookout Summit. The skier reportedly fell to an area about 100 yards above the bottom of the lift, near Rock Garden ski run.

“Ski patrol responded and found an unresponsive male skier,” Sibbach said.

Ketchum Fire Department Chief Mike Elle said the department was paged to respond to the base of the mountain at 3:50 p.m., after multiple 911 calls to Blaine County Emergency Communications.

“There were obviously multiple 911 calls from people on the lift that saw the guy fall off the chair,” he said.

Elle said the patient was reported to be in cardiac arrest, and CPR was in progress by Sun Valley Ski Patrol as of 3:58 p.m. CPR continued while Mower was being moved from the mountain to an ambulance. He was transported to St. Luke’s Wood River and arrived between 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

Mower was pronounced dead at the hospital. Mikel said Mower had no apparent injuries, and the cause of death had not been determined as of Thursday morning.

“The cause of death is under investigation, and an autopsy has been ordered,” he said.

Sibbach said he could not give further information on the incident, but was keeping Mower’s loved ones in mind.

“We are all very concerned about the friends and family,” he said.

Kate Wutz:

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