A 17-year-old skier fell 45 feet off a chairlift in a frightening moment caught on video, but somehow he was able to survive the ordeal and is now recovering from his injuries.
The incident was captured on video by a friend who was horsing around with the skier, Grind TV noted. Though the incident happened in early February, the footage was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday. It showed the young man desperately trying to hang on before losing his grip and falling more than four stories to the ground below.
The 18-second video starts with one of his friends yelling “Dude!” as the skier tries to climb back onto the chairlift, which is ascending up a mountain. When he falls a few seconds later, the cameraman is heart mumbling, “Oh shoot.”
The unidentified teenager was airlifted to a local hospital after the accident, and is reportedly doing OK now.
“Basically, the kid is home and he is fine,” Cody Sheppard, the ski patrol director at Ski Santa Fe, told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “It was kind of a dramatic deal. I guess he was attempting to throw a snowball to the chair in front of him, where some friends were, and when he threw the snowball, the momentum just carried him out of the chair. He did hang on for awhile, but then he had to drop.”
The YouTube uploader, TriipyHD, noted that the teen who fell 45 feet off the chairlift received a “concussion, skull fracture, collapsed lung and a lacerated liver.”
Sheppard added that the teen who fell from the chairlift was lucky — he didn’t even need surgery. Sheppard added that in his 30-plus years working at Ski Santa Fe, he couldn’t recall anyone fatally falling from the lift.
Here is video of the teenager falling 45 feet from the chairlift (with some not-safe-for-work language):