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Summit County Sheriff identifies ski patroller killed in chairlift accident

Park City Mountain Resort has requested to delay a hearing to deliver to Park City more information about its parking plans related to a planned chairlift expansion.
Danny Moloshok
Park City Mountain Resort chairlift.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office has identified the 29-year-old ski patroller who lost his life Monday as Christian Helger of Millcreek.

The Park City Mountain Alert Twitter account reported Tuesday that Ninety-nine 90 and Super Condor Express were closed all day. The alert said the resort would open as much of the mountain as it could safely while some patrollers took time to process Monday’s tragedy.

Helger fell to his death Monday morning while riding the Short Cut lift. Investigators said they believe a pine tree fell onto the chair lift cable behind the chair he was riding in, causing nearby chairs to jump so severely he fell out. Helger fell somewhere around 50 feet, according to emergency crews, into a ravine of deep snow.

Ski patrollers attempted to save their colleague but they were unsuccessful. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office was requested to provide helicopter services to retrieve him and attempted to do so but the bad weather prevented it.

A man who said he was on the Short Cut lift and saw the accident praised the patrollers’ efforts, which included dropping into the ravine and facing a possible avalanche.

The Utah Department of Transportation oversees chairlifts and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is likely to investigate the event.

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