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Report: Crotched Mtn. lift accident result of a ‘misload’

BENNINGTON — The state Fire Marshal’s Office has concluded its investigation into the Dec. 11 accident at Crotched Mountain Ski & Ride Area.

A Hollis mother and her six-year-old daughter were injured falling from a chairlift at the ski area just after 4 p.m. on Dec. 11.

The mother was taken by ambulance to Monadnock Community Hospital and the daughter was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

W. Briggs Lockwood, chief tramway safety inspector for the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said the girl fell from the chair because she was never properly seated on the chairlift and that the mother moved right away to help her daughter.

The fall happened about 90 seconds after the mother, daughter and another Hollis resident got on the lift, about 1,300 feet from the lift terminal. Both mother and daughter fell about 25 to 30 feet, Lockwood said.

The accident is consistent with a “misload,” he said, which led to the girl falling from the chair.

“She had difficulty loading and slipped off the chair. The other two passengers held onto her as long as they could,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood said no citation is being issued and said he stresses that “loading a chairlift is a shared responsibility.”

“Falling from a chairlift is always a bad situation, but it’s an accident that happens occasionally,” Lockwood said.

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