Kelly Huber was killed on Thursday when she and her two young daughters fell from a ski lift at the Ski Granby Ranch in Colorado, an accident that seems to have investigators baffled.
The tragic accident took place on Thursday at close to 9:30 a.m., when the mother and her two young daughters fell close to 25 feet from the Quickdraw Lift, Summit Daily reported. Huber and one of the young girls were both taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, but the mother died of her injuries.
The woman’s 9-year-old daughter was taken to Middle Park hospital before being flown to Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Denver Post noted. She was still in the hospital on Friday. The other daughter, a 12-year-old, was taken to Middle Park for treatment and then released. There was no update on the condition of either girl on Friday, and authorities have not named the two young girls.
Authorities originally had not released the name of the mother killed in the ski lift accident, but outlets in Texas noted that she was a 40-year-old who lived in San Antonio. She was later identified as Kelly Huber, and authorities noted that she was on a holiday vacation with her daughters and other family members.
The ski lift at Granby Ranch remained closed on Friday after the fatal accident, and investigators are trying to determine exactly how the accident unfolded. Schelly Olson, a spokesperson for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, told the Denver Post that there were many witnesses to the fatal ski lift fall.
“People on the chairs in front. People on the chairs in back. People on the hill,” Olson said.
The lift that Kelly Huber and her daughters were riding before the fatal fall is known as a “high-speed” lift, a ski area spokesman told the Denver Post. Granby Ranch is a family oriented resort known as a destination for younger and less-experienced skiers, the report added.
As the Denver Post went on to add, fatal falls from ski lifts are an exceedingly rare occurrence and the last death from a chairlift malfunction was in 1993.
“In 1976, two cars from Vail’s 7-year-old gondola – each carrying six skiers – plummeted 125 feet, killing four people in one of the most deadly lift incidents in the United States. In 1985, a bullwheel at Keystone Resort failed, sending waves down the line that threw 60 people off the Teller Lift, two of whom later died from their injuries.
“In April 2009, a Rhode Island man with no significant medical history died after losing consciousness on a chairlift in Breckenridge. Attempts to revive him at the top of the lift were unsuccessful.
“In January, a skier pushed a snowboarder off an Aspen Highlands chairlift. Thomas Proesel, who was accused of first-degree assault in the case, was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The snowboarder was not seriously hurt.”
While authorities in Colorado were reportedly meeting with both witnesses and ski lift operators at Ski Granby Ranch, there was no indication whether the accident was the result of an equipment malfunction or if some other factor caused Kelly Huber to fall to her death.
Officials in Colorado are now seeking help in determining the cause of the the ski lift accident at Ski Granby Ranch that claimed the life of Kelly Huber and sent her two young daughters to the hospital. They have asked anyone with information that could help the investigation to call Schelly Olson at 720-371-9358.
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