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Sheriff names patroller who died in Utah chairlift accident

Park City
Vail Resorts
The Orange Bubble Express chairlift in Park City Mountain ski resort in Utah.

The Park City Mountain employee who died in a chairlift accident was a 29-year-old ski patroller from Millcreek Utah, Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said on Wednesday.

Christian Helger died on Monday morning after being ejected from a chairlift shaken by a tree that fell onto a lift cable, resort officials and police said.

"Our prayers are with the Helger family as they grieve the loss of Christian," Martinez said in a statement on Wednesday.

Representatives of Park City Mountain and the Summit County Sheriff believe Helger fell at least 25 feet (7.6 meters) from the Short Cut chairlift into a deep ravine around 11:25 a.m. on Monday.

Park City ski patrol attempted to treat his injuries and evacuated 10 others who also were on the chairlift.

Summit County Sheriff Captain Andrew Wright told KSL-TV on Tuesday that Helger fell to terrain that was difficult to access. Ski patrol members took at least 20 minutes to reach the victim and dig him out of what deputies called “chest-deep snow” before attempting to treat him. Wright said the department’s investigation may consider variables including snow, tree health and tree proximity to the lift.