UPDATE: Mother, daughter injured in fall from lift at Crotched
BENNINGTON -- Police are reporting that a mother and daughter fell an estimated 40 to 50 feet from a chair lift at Crotched Mountain Ski and Ride late Wednesday afternoon.
Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell said Thursday in an interview that the chair lift had traveled a couple hundred yards from the start of the "Rocket" high-speed lift when the very young daughter allegedly fell first. “I heard that the girl probably did fall first and the mom apparently tried to stop her,” Campbell said.
He said the mother was said to have a leg injury and was sent by ambulance to Monadnock Community Hospital. The daughter was complaining of serious abdominal pain, “so probably internal injuries,” Campbell said, so she was flown by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
The cause of the fall is still unknown, Campbell said. “The state fire marshal came and did not find anything mechanically wrong with the ski lift,” Campbell said. After the lift was inspected and no technical errors were found, the lift was restarted.
By late Thursday morning Campbell did not know the names of the two victims but could say that to his knowledge they are not from Bennington.
According to Crotched Mountain General Manager Pat Terry, the mother and daughter were riding the “Rocket” chairlift to the summit when the incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. The pair fell onto the Pluto’s Plunge trail, where they were tended to by rescue crews. On Wednesday, Terry estimated they fell about 25 feet. “There’s no issue with the lift. Beyond that, it’s speculation at this point,” he said when reached Wednesday evening. “We don’t know how it happened. It’s definitely an investigation that will be ongoing.”
Campbell said police know of several eye witnesses but have been unable to speak with them yet. He said that when he arrived at the mountain the mother and daughter were still being helped down from where they fell on the mountain. He also said several agencies responded to the mountain Wednesday night including Antrim fire, Peterborough ambulance, Francestown fire and Bennington fire and police.