STOWE, Vt. — Per VTDigger, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) has fined Vail Resorts $27,306 for hazards “likely to cause death or serious physical harm,” following the death of Scott Lewis, a Stowe Mountain employee who crashed and died while riding a zipline at the resort last year.
Lewis had been working at the zipline for seven years.
The state agency’s investigation found that the company did not follow the instructions of Terra Nova LCC, the Utah-based company that makes the zipline.
The VOSHA report said the zipline’s lanyard was supposed to be replaced every year, however, it hadn’t been replaced since 2017, the year Vail Resorts acquired Stowe.
“According to the report, Lewis was zipping at up to 82 mph down line six of the Perry Merrill leg of the zipline, the last leg, on his way to meet a group of guests, when the lanyard failed. Lewis was thrown from the ZipTour ride and hit the decking of the cable bollard at the bottom of the line. He was found under a platform, his helmet off and his harness ripped. Despite CPR, he died of his injuries.” — Fred Thys, VTDigger
“Mr. Lewis would not have been killed if the primary attachment lanyard had been replaced due to aging and (wear) of the lanyard,” the VOSHA report states.
Vail Resorts Director of Operations and Risk Management Jamie Barrow repeatedly denied Terra Nova’s assertion that the lanyard be replaced.
Vail shut down the zipline this summer, and the company has not made clear whether that move is permanent, according to the article.
Vail Resorts owns Park City Mountain.