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Verdict in LeMaster Killing

James

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I wonder if there was any attempt at recreating the scene.
Like this-

 

fatbob

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Well I hope not given that was clear as mud who had the right of way given it appeared the run was a whole hillside.


This seems a bit more detailed but essentially it is still a fabrication. Albeit one that clearly the litigants thought was worth investing it presumably because it is so emphatic the picture it paints.

 

crgildart

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That scene gets recreated just about ever weekend at most resorts.. The results aren't usually that bad though.. Boarder bombing down the side yelling at people to "get out of my line bra..."
 

Tin Pants

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Not a day in jail? Wow. That might send a message to other skiers and snowboarders... that there are no rules. Without all of the facts, a long sentence is not something I would be in favor of. But this sentence is one you would see for holding an illegally ID.
the off duty vail employee who killed some one a few years ago was convicted of manslaughter and thrown in prison the district attorney could have done the same
 

no edge

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I agree somewhat. I don't want to play lawyer but the crime does not appear to be manslaughter. Colorado needs to address this if these crimes should considered manslaughter. Is jail an appropriate outcome in this case? I don't know, but $500!?
 
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ThomasD

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I agree somewhat. I don't want to play lawyer but the crime does not appear to be manslaughter. Colorado needs to address this if these crimes should considered manslaughter. Is jail an appropriate outcome in this case? I don't know, but $500!?
I agree that it quite likely was a homicide and should have been put to a jury to actually decide culpability.

But you cannot punish him (or anyone else) for something you have not proven.

The $500 was for the legally established offense.
 

Henry

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I'm torn about this. The Lane Change drill is three short turns on one side of the run, cross the run, three short turns on the other side, cross the run, etc. Crossing the run without looking uphill for clearance is just dangerous. The three short turns on one side sets a pattern. A responsible skier or rider trying to pass will see the pattern on one side of the run and try to pass on the other side...just as the first skier swerves across the width of the run. A responsible driver looks into their mirror to see of the other lane is clear before they change lanes, and the responsible skier looks up the other side of the run before they swerve over. This drill should be run on a closed course or at least with a safety observer above the skier doing the drill.

Now, about the snowboarder just missed us and yelled at my group for stopping on the run when we were tightly clustered on one side....or the Vail employee who was snowboarding straight lining on the side of a busy traverse flat section and took offense to my comment about his parentage....or the snowboarder who went up on a hump and down fast inches from me as I was skiing straight on a narrow traverse.....
 

dan ross

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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..
See my earlier post. I was hit head-on by a drunk driver in 1980. I escaped with my life by inches. Radiator fluid dripping on my neck. The driver got a one year license suspension. That’s all. Now, the penalty would include jail time and a longer license suspension. One major reason for this is education, including MADD and society deciding that drunk driving was serious and not going to be tolerated. ( and yes, up until the mid 1960’s they’d take you in and let you sleep it off in a lot of places if no accident occurred)
Now, most people are at least aware of the risk and subsequent cost of drunk driving and that has affected behavior. If we want to avoid accidents like La Masters it starts with drilling the “ code of the road” into skiers and boarders consistently. How to do this effectively, I’ve no idea but I never see anything about it on the mountain, at least that I can recall.
 

pchewn

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Crossing the run without looking uphill for clearance is just dangerous.

Because there are people above you that are not following the Skier Responsibility Code.

It is not in the code to look uphill before crossing the run. In fact, if you are properly following the code, you are always looking downhill/forward to accomplish what is in the code: Avoiding skiers ahead or downhill from you.
 

François Pugh

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I'm torn about this. The Lane Change drill is three short turns on one side of the run, cross the run, three short turns on the other side, cross the run, etc. Crossing the run without looking uphill for clearance is just dangerous. The three short turns on one side sets a pattern. A responsible skier or rider trying to pass will see the pattern on one side of the run and try to pass on the other side...just as the first skier swerves across the width of the run. A responsible driver looks into their mirror to see of the other lane is clear before they change lanes, and the responsible skier looks up the other side of the run before they swerve over. This drill should be run on a closed course or at least with a safety observer above the skier doing the drill.

Now, about the snowboarder just missed us and yelled at my group for stopping on the run when we were tightly clustered on one side....or the Vail employee who was snowboarding straight lining on the side of a busy traverse flat section and took offense to my comment about his parentage....or the snowboarder who went up on a hump and down fast inches from me as I was skiing straight on a narrow traverse.....
An unwise skier or rider trying to pass will see the pattern on one side of the run and try to pass on the other side...just as the first skier swerves across the width of the run. A responsible skier who follows the code, will not pass until it is beyond the laws of physics for the skier being passed to suddenly swerve and intersect the passing skiers planed path.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unwise skiers who don't follow the code on the hill.
 

tball

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I'm torn about this. The Lane Change drill is three short turns on one side of the run, cross the run, three short turns on the other side, cross the run, etc. Crossing the run without looking uphill for clearance is just dangerous. The three short turns on one side sets a pattern. A responsible skier or rider trying to pass will see the pattern on one side of the run and try to pass on the other side...just as the first skier swerves across the width of the run. A responsible driver looks into their mirror to see of the other lane is clear before they change lanes, and the responsible skier looks up the other side of the run before they swerve over. This drill should be run on a closed course or at least with a safety observer above the skier doing the drill.
I can't imagine any experienced skier doing that drill without looking uphill before crossing the run. Seems like a bad idea to do it at all.

I hope the LeMaster family pursues civil action so they can get some justice and clear up what actually happened, as the evidence allows. I wonder if the DA went so light expecting the snowboarder was going to have a judgment following him around for life. Or, could he just bankrupt it?
 

pchewn

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I can't imagine any experienced skier doing that drill without looking uphill before crossing the run. Seems like a bad idea to do it at all.

I hope the LeMaster family pursues civil action so they can get some justice and clear up what actually happened, as the evidence allows. I wonder if the DA went so light expecting the snowboarder was going to have a judgment following him around for life. Or, could he just bankrupt it?

I'm confused on several levels about this comment:

Confusion #1: The snowboarder stated that LeMaster was "swerving all over" -- perhaps in a manner similar to the 'Lane Change Drill'. Are you saying that LeMaster was skiing irresponsibly by not looking uphill before "crossing the run"?

Confusion #2: You are encouraging the LeMaster family to pursue civil action. Do you think the snowboarder was responsible for the accident? Does this conflict with Confusion #1?

Confusion #3: The DA brings (or decides not to bring) criminal charges which may result in fines or imprisonment. The DA does not pursue civil cases that could result in a judgement. Criminal fines are not subject to bankruptcy. Civil judgements can be affected by bankruptcy.

What really confuses me is the original post by @Henry (and supported by you) where he states that "crossing the run" requires the skier to look uphill first. That is neither safe, good practice, nor a requirement of the Skier Safety Code.

And another thing: The "lane change drill" should be renamed. No need to reinforce the absurd notion that there are "lanes" in skiing.
 

jt10000

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This is very true. You have to imagine how difficult manslaughter would be to prove to a jury with at least some non-skiers/snowboarders. They probably wouldn't be able to consider the fleeing as part of the accident, as there were other people around to care for the injured party so while the fleeing was terrible it didn't cause further damage.

Terrible tragedy and awful that the guy fled.
Using the word "accident" is in this discussion by several people is symptomatic of the lack of accountability. "Accident" implies random and unavoidable. We know from efforts to promote road safety that it's much better to use the word "crash" - at least until it's known who, if anyone, was responsible.
 

crgildart

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It's definitely annoying being in fast cruise mode then coming up on someone who you can't easily decipher which side to pass them on.. But, when that happens to me I SLOW DOWN instead of trying to guess with a low level of confidence at high speed..
 
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James

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where he states that "crossing the run" requires the skier to look uphill first. That is neither safe, good practice, nor a requirement of the Skier Safety Code.
How is that unsafe and bad practice?
One should cross a run just not bothering to see what’s coming down from above?

- How do we know LeMaster was doing the lane change drill?

If he was doing that drill, it’s not random, and generally takes place in a moving rectangle, where you are on one side doing turns, then cross to the other side to do turns.
It’s hard for me to see LeMaster skiing in an unpredictable and chaotic manner doing a drill.
 

jmeb

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It’s hard for me to see LeMaster skiing in an unpredictable and chaotic manner doing a drill.

Again, we are so far into the realm of speculation here -- but to an average skier -- a lane change drill is very much unpredictable skiing. Three quick snappy turns then a sudden long radius is not predictable unless you've trained in that drill. We have to educate coaches and race kids every year that lane change drills are not an allowable use of limited terrain space open to the public early season.
 

James

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Again, we are so far into the realm of speculation here -- but to an average skier -- a lane change drill is very much unpredictable skiing. Three quick snappy turns then a sudden long radius is not predictable unless you've trained in that drill. We have to educate coaches and race kids every year that lane change drills are not an allowable use of limited terrain space open to the public early season.
True.
When you say “not an allowable use…” your mountain prohibits them?

Not in the realm of speculation is the perpetrator’s statement of seeing Lemaster, “weaving back and forth”.
So he saw him doing it first, and still hit him.
 

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