Shawnee Skiier Death

NJSnowmakerNJSnowmaker novice
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 13

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A 15-year-old girl who attended a New Jersey boarding school has been killed in a skiing accident in eastern Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.

Officials at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area near East Stroudsburg tell WNEP-TV (http://bit.ly/2jrjP2c ) that Juliette Dajani died when she collided with an orange safety fence after losing control and skiing off the bottom of a trail on Monday.

Resort officials say the girl was at the resort for a team event with her school, which the Monroe County coroner identified as Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey.

Dajani was from Singapore, but the resort and the coroner's office did not release information about her hometown.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-teen-killed-shawnee-mountain-ski-area-0113-20170113-story.html

Comments

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061
    well that's terrible.  Blair team does their training at Shawnee, it's just over the river
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,368
    What's an orange safety fence made of? Sounds strange. Sad just the same.
    A 10 yr old girl from Chicago area died at Crystal Mi a couple weeks back after leaving her instructor and hitting a tree.
    I Lived 10 minutes from Blairstown and played their 9 hole golf course several times.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    I agree about strange. All I can think of is either (a) the temporary orange netting that is supported by poles that look like ski poles or actuall FIS B-netting, (b) a wooden fence painted orange, or (c) orange snow fence.

    (A) wouldn't cause any damage hitting it, except in some cases you may be going too fast and plow through it hitting a tree or ski lift tower.

    (B) could certainly hurt someone.

    (C) could hurt someone if it isn't supported in a safe manner. I know several ski areas put wood posts up and use orange snow fence as a barricade in front of snowgun hydrants.

    Has anyone been to Shawnee, PA? What kind of trail markings/barriers are there. From the article, it doesn't sound like a safe ski area.
  • dcapbtlsdcapbtls intermediate
    Posts: 26
    "...doesn't sound like a safe ski area." What a reckless, uninformed comment. How could you possibly draw that conclusion? Based on that logic, is every ski area unsafe that happens to have a fatality, or perhaps a bad injury? Shame on you!
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited January 14 Posts: 853
    Probably about 99% of deaths at a ski area are from hitting a tree (internal bleeding is incredibly hard to treat) or from natural causes like heart attacks. Other deaths seem pretty rare, with someone smacking their head on a rock being most common (see Schumacher's severe brain injury). 

    In this case, it appears from the article that a skier hit a fence and died. I don't care what logic you're using; that fence is not safe if it kills someone hitting it.  I don't know about PA, but some states require all man made obstacles within a trail to be padded.  
  • dcapbtlsdcapbtls intermediate
    Posts: 26
    Oh, yeah? What kind of a fence was it? What is it there for?

    If you can answer those questions, and somehow support your wildly unreasonable statements, then I retract my statement. If not, I suggest you retract yours.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 665
    If it was the B-net used for racing and was installed properly, then I am surprised she was killed. That stuff does a good job stopping fallen skiers, if there is enough room behind the net, as the net slows them down rather than stopping them with a jolt. That is, if it is installed correctly. If too close to a tower/hydrant/tree, then it will do nothing to help the skier.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 665
    if it was the fence in this shot, it would have done nothing to help



  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    Posts: 269
    I do not know any of the details of this incident, however, I will go on record as saying Shawnee is a well run, safe operation. If there is a death there, I will say odds were it was a tragic accident, and not negligence. Shawnee does things right. They are not a half-assed operation barely getting by every year.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    I can't really tell by that webcam shot (at least today as its possibly covered in snow?). What kind of fence is that?

    Yes Shawnee is a big operation. They're not trying to be sneaky on a shoestring. My only point is that it's not much of a safety fence if it doesn't stop you sufficiently or if you die from injuries if you hit it.

    Perhaps the article described the object wrong?
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 665
    About 3 feet high, attached to wooden or metal posts, looked like orange poly. Not safety fencing for a race arena. Article did not say she fell while racing, so perhaps she fell while outside the race arena.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    Like a traditional orange snow fence?

    image
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061
    hey strange things happen.  that chairlift death in Colorado is a prime example.  A few years ago we lost a local kid at Mt Creek when his ski helicoptered up and by chance hit him exactly between goggles and helmet.  unusual things can happen even in a properly installed net.  I've skied at Shawnee many times and while it may get crowded they certainly have a well run ski area.  I think we'll get more details and will answer a lot of these questions
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061

    here's a little more info


    EAST STROUDSBURG (AP) - A 15-year-old girl who attended a New Jersey boarding school has been killed in a skiing accident at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area Monday.

    According to witnesses, Juliette Dajani, of Singapore, and a member of the Blair Academy Race Team, was skiing down Shawnee Mountain's Lower Tomahawk Trail at about 5 p.m. at a high rate of speed when she lost control and skied off the bottom of the trail, colliding with an orange safety fence, according to Shawnee Spokesman Jim Tust.

    "Members of Shawnee Mountain's Ski Patrol, EMTs and paramedics responded to the scene in less than a minute finding the student unresponsive," he said. "They immediately began emergency procedures and summoned the Bushkill Ambulance Corps and MedEvac."

    Dajani, a student at Blair Academy in New Jersey was pronounced dead at 5:55 p.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono. She suffered from blunt force injuries, according to Monroe County Chief Deputy Coroner Michael Sak. An autopsy was performed on Tuesday and the manner of death was determined to be accidental.

    A spokeswoman for the boarding school didn't immediately return calls Friday.

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 665
    obienick said:

    Like a traditional orange snow fence?


    image
    bingo. Looks like that, though no idea if this is what was involved. If it was, this stuff is crowd control and not safety fence
  • ken_kken_k novice
    Posts: 1
    I just returned from a remembrance service for Juliette and can answer questions posted in this thread about what the "safety barrier" in question looked like,  These are pictures of the actual barrier which Juliette crashed into.  The close up shot shows some sort of white PVC pipe-like structure that holds up the orange netting forming the barrier.  I was told the pipes were pretty rigid and unyielding, and I can imagine anyone hitting them at speed would likely suffer injury.

    I am no expert at safety barriers and their construction.  I am posting these pictures for those with more knowledge to provide their opinion on the suitability of what was (and may still be) deployed at Shawnee as "safety barriers".
    WhatsApp Image 2017-02-25 at 6.18.37 PM.jpeg
    750 x 1334 - 138K
    WhatsApp Image 2017-02-25 at 6.18.36 PM.jpeg
    750 x 1334 - 82K
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 665
    Wow, pretty inadequate, IMO. 
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 187
    I don't think that fence in the photos is safety barrier like what is set up for stopping falling racers. It looks like fence. Hunter and Jiminy have all wood structure in front of guns and along trail edges. I don't know exactly what the girl hit. I guess anything can take a life if it is hit in a certain way. A mountain owner once said to me, I don't use ropes around the base of the lifts. I build fences. This way everyone knows exactly what they are hitting.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited February 25 Posts: 853
    Yeah. I agree.  That is definitely not safe. A lot of ski areas used something like that, and a few still do, to "protect" skiers from snowmaking hydrants. It may meet the letter of the law. But it doesn't meet any common sense safety needs. IMHO the only "protection" is because it is orange in color on white snow so it stands out. But good luck if you catch your edge!

    IMHO this may be worse than what I've seen elsewhere.  Usually it's a wooden post or a former log stuck in the ground supporting the orange snow fence.  Here not only is there a large 2-3" PVC pipe, but that PVC pipe is kept upright with what looks like a metal rebar.

    Newman, you are correct.  This is not b-netting. B-netting is designed to break away (like a racing gate) to slow a skier and obviously they must be further from the obstruction.
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