BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of people have signed a petition asking Eldora Mountain Resort to improve safety on chairlifts for ski school after a 6 year old fell from one on Sunday. Marielle Larrimer was rushed to Boulder Community Hospital with injuries to her pelvis and lower legs.
Family members said she was released earlier this week with no broken bones, but that she was still in pain.
The incident brought discussions on a website for “Boulder Moms.” Many of the parents have children in ski school at Eldora as Larrimer was at the time of the fall.
Larisa Wilder and Leigh Fiske put together an online petition. It states the current policy at Eldora is “When riding a lift all students six and under and less than 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult when available.”
The petition asks that the policy be changed to, “Must be accompanied by an adult.”
The parents are also asking if an adult is present, parents have the option to ride the lift with their child with no additional ticket fee.
There was no safety bar on the chair Larrimer was riding, and she was seated next to another child. Fiske said witnesses she talked to said the girl did not appear to be loaded onto the chair properly and was struggling to stay on the chair before falling.
Other ski areas provide adults to ride with young children in ski school. Copper Mountain and Vail both indicated that they do not let children ride alone or with other children until they are older or can demonstrate they are capable of being on the lift without an adult.
The parents are also seeking safety bars as a longer term solution. Sam Bass, a spokesman for Eldora told CBS4 it is aware of the petition and is speaking with its executive committee about it.
Later on Wednesday Eldora released the following statement about the situation:
Eldora is proud to be a family-friendly mountain. Many of the staff at Eldora are parents themselves whose kids are growing up, or have grown up, learning to ski or ride at the resort. Thousands of kids enjoy our ski and ride school programs each year. What happened on Sunday involving a six-year-old-female guest, who was enrolled in ski and ride school when she fell approximately 29 feet from a carrier on Eldora’s Sundance chairlift, is extremely rare.
We take safety seriously, from the way we train our teams to the way we operate the resort. As such, and in light of Sunday’s incident, we are reviewing all of our policies and procedures related to children on lifts. We will continue to take steps that ensure Eldora remains a safe and great place to learn.
Our thoughts are with the family and we hope for a speedy recovery. If you are interested, we encourage you to visit the National Ski Area Association’s website, KidsOnLifts.org, to learn more about safety for children on lifts.