Verdict in LeMaster Killing

James

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Ultimately, it's a personal belief of mine that EVERYONE in a society is expected to behave rationally and reasonably to avoid harming others. Be it driving a car, riding a bike, running across a sports area we expect ourselves and others to apply a little common sense to avoid potential tragedies.
Drunk driving was widely accepted before maybe the mid 80’s? Especially with the legal limit being “low”.
 

BLiP

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seems like reckless skiing to me
Agreed. The only issue, one that is hard to succinctly explain, is that there is a significant difference between what we call “reckless” in everyday life and what criminal law says is “reckless.” Its like the difference between being an "expert" skier at a local Ohio bump and being an "expert" skier at Jackson Hole.
 

Lauren

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In Colorado, the uphill skier is at fault if they collide with a person below them:

(2) Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him.
Understood. In the hypothetical scenario I was describing, the two drivers or the skiers/snowboarders would be moving along at the same pace (or a similar pace)....this happens to me a lot, where I'm moving along on one side of the trail, and someone else is moving at a similar clip on the other side. Re-reading my post you quoted...this wasn't clear. If no one can be determined to be the "downhill skier", it's tough to assign fault.
 

cantunamunch

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28 year old

Another thing I'm noticing is that he is 28 and he is not in Europe. No right to be forgotten.

If pics were taken as he left the scene, he's at considerable social justice warrior risk. From now until whenever the Internet dies.
 

jmeb

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If no one can be determined to be the "downhill skier", it's tough to assign fault.

I'd add -- "downhill" is not a blanket inclusion of everyone downhill of you on the mountain. Nor is it easy to determine in many accidents (despite the objective fact there is always an uphill skier.) There is some spot where a person who is "downhill" (i.e. at a lower elevation than you) becomes "downhill of you" (i.e. within your path.) Is this anyone on the trail? Anyone in the bowl? Anyone in the general lane?

In a hypothetical scenario: someone darts out of the trees and suddenly becomes downhill of you, you could be skiing with control and cause a significant accident. You were not skiing recklessly. While it is the "primary" duty of the uphill skier per the Code, that does not mean downhill skiers have no duty.

This issue here is that any comment that perhaps the downhill skier has *some* duty appears to be victim-blaming.
 
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Andy Mink

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The boarder said he "was unable to avoid the collision with LeMaster". His own admission, at least as written in the above article, seems pretty damning. No need for who was up or downhill. I'm not saying he should spend life in prison. I recognize that he has a burden to carry for the rest of his life. But basically not getting penalized for causing someone's death is hard for me to wrap my head around.
 
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cantunamunch

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We’re on pg 5, could we at least correct the spelling mistake of his name in the title?

I figured it was intentional. Keep this site and thread out of random Google searches on the topic, ya know?

Corrected.

Remember, kids: post for posterity!
 

James

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Keep this site and thread out of random Google searches on the topic, ya know?
Yeah, depends how much cash is in it for google. Maybe LaMaster is in real estate in Florida.
I doubt Le Ski Mastery in Taos will show up.
 

Seldomski

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I'd add -- "downhill" is not a blanket inclusion of everyone downhill of you on the mountain. Nor is it easy to determine in many accidents (despite the objective fact there is always an uphill skier.) There is some spot where a person who is "downhill" (i.e. at a lower elevation than you) becomes "downhill of you" (i.e. within your path.) Is this anyone on the trail? Anyone in the bowl? Anyone in the general lane?

In a hypothetical scenario: someone darts out of the trees and suddenly becomes downhill of you, you could be skiing with control and cause a significant accident. You were not skiing recklessly. While it is the "primary" duty of the uphill skier per the Code, that does not mean downhill skiers have no duty.

This issue here is that any comment that perhaps the downhill skier has *some* duty appears to be victim-blaming.
To pick a nit with your argument... the skier exiting the trees is merging with another trail and needs to check uphill and/or yield before exiting. Many just roll the dice and subscribe to 'big sky' theory when it comes to skiing. Odds are, there is no skier right there about to slam into you.

The headline 'ski instructor doing drills across entire run collides with boarder/skier' should be more of a shocker, but sadly doesn't feel that way. I've been in some lessons where the instructor does these drills in heavy skier traffic, sort of as a statement of freedom to navigate as the downhill skier. One recent instance a guy stopped to tell the instructor he shouldn't be weaving across the run like that, that he was likely to get hit. Instructor said 'and that would be your problem.' Well, maybe not...
 

James

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The headline 'ski instructor doing drills across entire run collides with boarder/skier' should be more of a shocker, but sadly doesn't feel that way.
There were apparently two people on the trail, or we’d have witnesses. The guy from above managed to hit the one below.
Nothing to do with your scenario.
 

jmeb

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There were apparently two people on the trail, or we’d have witnesses.
It does not follow that we'd have witnesses if there were more than two people. You'd be amazed at how many people are on a trail at a time and yet don't see a collision. Or people who see it and don't stop.

Early season at Eldora...just two people on a run is highly highly unlikely.
 
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jmeb

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The boarder said he "was unable to avoid the collision with LeMaster". His own admission, at least a written in the above article, seems pretty damning. No need for who was up or downhill.

"Unable to avoid the collision" is not the same as the sole party responsible for the collision.

There is a consistent amount of overinterpretation of limited evidence in this thread.
 

James

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Well there were at least 4 people, LeMaster’s friend Gordon Reece, and another person who took the phone back.

Here’s about as complete a statement of what happened as I’ve seen.

——————————
Martinez suffered a bloody nose and possibly a concussion. When Reece checked on his friend, he noticed that LeMaster was still breathing, but unconscious, according to a report written by Sgt. Asa Merriam.

“Reece said he told Martinez to stay and wait for ski patrol to arrive and Martinez said something to the effect ‘It was only an accident man!’” according to the report.
Reece thought Martinez was going to leave, so he took pictures of Martinez with his cellphone.

“Reece said when he did this Martinez grabbed the phone out of his hand and would not give it back,” according to the report. “Reece said someone else grabbed the phone from Martinez and handed it back to him. Reece said Martinez then skied away.”
The ski patrol found Martinez in the parking lot, in his friend’s car. He had changed out of his ski pants and boarding boots…

Reece told investigators that he saw the collision, but did not see how fast Martinez was going before the crash.

“The collision occurred about 50 (feet) to my right,” Reece told investigators. “The impact caused both involved to tumble and slide about 100 (feet). The trajectory of the slide was downhill and across the fall line, skiers right to skiers left. Ron LeMaster stopped about 100-150 (feet) below me. The snowboarder skid another 30-50 feet downhill from where Ron’s body came to rest. This indicates to me the speed of the snowboarder and force of the impact.”

Martinez told investigators that his only choice was to hit Ronald LeMaster, or a tree, as he boarded on the left side of the run.


“Martinez said as he was coming down the left side of the run, he could see LeMaster in front of him weaving back and forth in the center of the run,” according to the report. “Martinez said as he was getting closer to LeMaster, LeMaster took a sharp turn and began coming towards the left side of the run. Martinez (stated) he began yelling 'Left, left, left' attempting to let LeMaster know he was on the outside of the run. Martinez said he was unable to avoid the collision with LeMaster and their heads collided.”



“We’ve handled more of these cases than any other firm in the nation,” said Chalat, of Chalat Hatten and Banker.

“I’m surprised the snowboarder was only charged with leaving the scene. This sounds like reckless conduct,” Chalat said. “I’ve not been contacted by anyone in the case … (but) the family would have a civil claim of wrongful death.”


Civil cases have a lesser burden of proof than criminal cases.

Most skiers are familiar with the waiver language on every lift ticket — the skier assumes responsibility for the risks involved in the dangerous sport.

“Skier collision cases are not barred by that assumption of risk,” Chalat said. “Skiing is not a contact sport. … Skiers have a duty to maintain control, look out and be aware of their surroundings. The presumption is that the downhill skier has the right (of) way.”
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coskigirl

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Not true.

In Colorado, the uphill skier is at fault if they collide with a person below them:

(2) Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course at all times when skiing and to maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and objects. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him.

In a hypothetical scenario: someone darts out of the trees and suddenly becomes downhill of you, you could be skiing with control and cause a significant accident. You were not skiing recklessly. While it is the "primary" duty of the uphill skier per the Code, that does not mean downhill skiers have no duty.

This issue here is that any comment that perhaps the downhill skier has *some* duty appears to be victim-blaming.

Yes! Primary duty does not mean sole duty.

When I sustained my concussion in January 2019, I was absolutely the downhill skier. However, I also recognize that it was a busy area with lots of paths crossing with people coming from multiple different runs and going to multiple different runs. The uphill snowboarder should have been looking around with a head on a swivel to ensure he knew where skiers were coming from but I was also crossing from far skiers right to far skiers left and had been watching my downhill/cross hill to make sure I was complying with my duty to avoid the people in front of me. I failed to realize that I was going to cross in front of the person and he wasn't going to slow/stop. After asking if I was okay (I said yes because I didn't realize for 2 days that I was concussed) he left the scene. I was more pissed at the mountain information people who watched the whole thing and let the person ski off than anything. But, even if the person had stayed I would not have sought damages because I recognize my contribution to the situation.

"Unable to avoid the collision" is not the same as the sole party responsible for the collision.

There is a consistent amount of overinterpretation of limited evidence in this thread.

A resounding yes to this one too.
 
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tball

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Yes, I get contributory negligence.

What evidence is there that Ron LeMaster had any responsibility for the collision?
 

François Pugh

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Yes, I get contributory negligence.

What evidence is there that Ron LeMaster had any responsibility for the collision?
Well Dude! He turned into the boarder's line! :rolleyes:
Not only that! He had plenty of time to get the F out of the way; the boarder had time to yell, "left" three times. F'n deaf old people! :nono:

If you're hauling ass and see someone ahead, and they are not skiing so slowly that they can't intercept you chosen path no mater which way they turn, slow down. If you're not sure, slow down.

We don't need proof; the perp admits what he did. Instead of slowing down to the point where he could control (well enough to avoid hitting the skier ahead) his path and not have a collision, he continued, then to yelled, perhaps attempting too late to slow down, to have the other skier turn to avoid the collision. I would have no difficulty finding recklessness, in this case.

P.S. Don't be a fool. Always leave an escape gap for fools at the edge of the run.

We could argue on the benefits of what time in jail would do or not do and what might be better for everybody, including the boarder who may well have learned his lesson well enough, but that is another kettle of fish.
 

crgildart

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Drunk driving was widely accepted before maybe the mid 80’s? Especially with the legal limit being “low”.
The penalties for "driving" were weak, even at the .1% limit.. No harm, no foul then.. But, the consequences for killing someone while drunk behind the wheel were quite a bit higher than this..
 

scott43

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Drunk driving was widely accepted before maybe the mid 80’s? Especially with the legal limit being “low”.
I can remember the older fellas here worrying about drunk driving checkpoints around..
1980? It was increasingly an issue but at that time it was still seen as not nearly the crime it is today for sure.
 

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