Oregon ski area sued over Washington child’s death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The parents of a 9-year-old who died skiing at the Mt. Bachelor ski area in central Oregon last year have filed a $49 million wrongful death lawsuit dollars against the station and its parent company, Powdr Corp.

Angela and Brian Boice of Tacoma, Wash., filed a lawsuit Aug. 2 for the death of Brecken, who slipped on one of the ski area’s slopes and crashed into rocks, The Bulletin reported.

The lawsuit was filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court and alleges on the day of Brecken’s death that conditions were extremely freezing and that the chairlift and ski trails near the summit should not have been opened.

“The negligence and/or fault of the defendants (caused) Brecken Boice pain, suffering and terror during his fall and prior to his death,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit contains more details than previously released by authorities or Mt. Bachelor.

political cartoons

On January 16, 2021, Brian and Brecken, who had been skiing since they were 4 years old, rode the Summit Express chairlift to access the intermediate runs near the summit. According to the lawsuit, station employees told them conditions at the summit were good, with minimal ice buildup. But when Brian and Brecken got to the top, they encountered ice in the unloading area, according to the complaint.

“Brecken fell and began to slide down the mountain,” the lawsuit states.

Brian Boice tried unsuccessfully to stop his son’s slide and began his own uncontrolled descent down the Healy Heights track, losing his clothes and hitting rocks while watching his son do the same.

After stopping, Brian Boice went to his son and tried to comfort him and protect him from other skiers who had lost control on the ice, according to the lawsuit.

Ski patrol employees arrived about 12 minutes later and called for emergency helicopter transport, according to the lawsuit. Brecken died in a hospital later that day. The lawsuit alleges the ski area was negligent.

John McLeod, President and CEO of Mt. Bachelor, said in an emailed statement Wednesday that everyone at Mt. Bachelor continues to send their deepest condolences to Brecken’s family.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of this incident due to ongoing litigation, this is a tragedy that has affected our entire mountain community,” McLeod said. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the events of that day.”

There have been seven ski-related deaths since 2018. Three of them occurred last winter.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments are closed.