Police & Fire

UPDATE: Park City Mountain Ski Patroller Christian Helger killed in chairlift accident

UPDATE Jan. 4 9:36 a.m.: The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deceased as Christian Helger, a 29-year-old man from Millcreek. Helger worked at Park City Mountain Resort as a ski patrol member. His official cause of death is still pending investigation.

UPDATE Jan. 3 4:33 p.m.: From the Summit County Sheriff’s Office: On January 2, 2023 at 11:25 a.m. Summit County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Park City Mountain Ski Patrol requesting a helicopter to hoist an unresponsive adult male. Summit County Sheriff Investigators learned that a pine tree fell onto the Short Cut chair lift cable and caused chairs to vertically move up and down significantly enough to cause a 29-year-old Millcreek man to fall from the lift chair into a ravine of deep snow.

Investigators believe the tree hit the lift cable behind where the man was seated. Unfortunately, the man was found unresponsive; lifesaving efforts were attempted by Park City Mountain Ski Patrol, but he died.

The entire Summit County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends, the Park City Mountain Ski Patrol team that worked to save one of their own, and the entire Park City Mountain team as they grieve this tragic loss,” said Captain Andrew Wright.

The official cause of death is still yet to be determined by the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner. The family has requested additional time before the release of the name of their son.

PARK CITY, Utah — A Park City Mountain Resort employee has died after a tree fell on the line of the Short Cut chairlift on Monday.

According to Sara Huey, senior communications manager at PCMR, the accident took place at around 10:45 a.m. when an on-duty employee riding the Short Cut chairlift was knocked off the lift after the line was hit by a tree.

The employee fell at least 25 feet, and although Park City Mountain ski patrol immediately performed lifesaving efforts, the employee did not survive.

“The Park City Mountain team – as well as the entire Vail Resorts team – extend our deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of our team member,” said Deirdra Walsh, Park City Mountain vice president & chief operating officer. “We are all deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and we will be providing support for our employees as we grieve this devastating loss.”

The remaining ten riders on the Short Cut lift were evacuated by ski patrol by 1:06 p.m. Several other nearby lifts were closed to support response to the accident, but are anticipated to open again on Tuesday.

Short Cut lift will remain closed as the incident is investigated.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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