9-year-old suffers minor injuries after fall from West Buttermilk lift
Son of reality star Rachel Zoe had to be dropped about 23 feet after loading beginner-area lift, Aspen Skiing Co. says
A 9-year-old boy had to be rescued from the West Buttermilk lift over the weekend and was dropped approximately 23 feet to pads placed below the lift, according to an Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman.
The boy’s mother, fashion designer and reality TV star Rachel Zoe, said in a social media post that Skyler “fell 40 feet from a ski lift” and while she was angry with the lift operator she thanked the ski patrol. The child sustained minor injuries.
The incident happened about 2:45 p.m. Sunday at the beginner area known as West Buttermilk.
Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said in an email Tuesday that the boy got on the four-person lift at the midway station with his father, Rodger Berman, and a ski pro. It was unclear how the boy got into the trouble after that. Hanle said the lift stopped when the child was near tower 7, which is the first tower after the midway station where the group loaded.
“He was being held by a ski pro and his father, who were on the chair with the child. Resort employees were able to place a number of pads under the chair,” Hanle wrote. “The boy was released and dropped to the pads below, where ski patrol was on scene. The height of the fall was approximately 23 feet.”
Hanle said Skyler was treated by patrol, taken to the base area and transported to Aspen Valley Hospital by ambulance.
The incident has been reported to the U.S. Forest Service, which leases the land, and the Colorado Tramway Board, which oversees chairlifts in the state. Hanle said Skico will follow up with the forest service as they continue their investigation.
“Sky fell 40 feet from a ski lift (Sunday) which could have been easily prevented if the operator had stopped the lift when he saw sky (sic) wasn’t on from the start and (Berman) screaming to stop the lift,” Zoe wrote on an Instagram story. “Needless to say by a miracle and the Ski patrol heroes who quickly put a mat under where they thought he would fall ultimately saved his life or from what could have happened.”
On an earlier post with a photo of her son in a hospital bed (he was treated for minor injuries and released), she wrote that her son was “doing great” and that she and her husband were “shattered and numb but woke up today with a gratitude for a miracle that Sky is safe and OK.” She added he was “sore and banged up a bit.”
Zoe is a longtime fashion designer and writer and for five seasons was the star of a reality show called “The Rachel Zoe Project,” which started in 2008.
“First and foremost, we are pleased to hear that the boy is feeling better. We were glad to hear that he was able to recover from this incident back at his hotel with his family shortly after evaluation by doctors at AVH,” Hanle said. “We are in touch with the family and will continue to follow up.”
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