NEWS

Former Vancouver councillor hit by reckless skier

03/13/2013 12:40 EDT | Updated 05/13/2013 05:12 EDT
A former Vancouver city councillor says ski hills need to do more to rein in reckless skiers after he was hit at Whistler Blackcomb last month leaving him with two broken legs.

Peter Ladner says a man who was skiing out of control in a wide-open area hit him head-on.

"A little over a month ago I was coming down the peak chair at Whistler and a guy hit me head on and broke one leg, and shattered the knee cap on my other leg," Ladner told CBC's Early Edition Wednesday.

Ladner said the skier was very apologetic, and accompanied the rescue sled down the hill. The skier, a young man, sustained only minor injuries — and the loss of his season pass.

"He lost his pass for 12 months, so I guess he's not allowed to ski... I guess he could go up and pay cash if he wanted to," Ladner said.

Ladner says he hasn't filed a lawsuit against the skier that hit him, but he thinks there may be wider interest in pursuing this type of claim.

Ladner says there needs to be more consequences for people who cause accidents on the slopes, or at least better advertising of the existing penalty policies.

"One thing that interests me is the deterrent effect of any penalties that they might levy on people," said Ladner

"I'm not typically noticing sings saying, 'Warning: If you ski out of control or hit someone, your pass will be taken away. There will be consequences.'"

Ladner says the mountain is facing losing business as older people, who are more wary of injuries, are thinking twice about putting themselves at the mercy of other skiers.

He says he's received many emails after his accident from individuals who have had similar accidents at the ski hill.

Older skiers getting scared

Gary Watson, a resident and former Whistler councillor, was also struck on the ski hill around the same time of Ladner's accident.

"I was hit from behind by a young snowboarder. I think it's a lack of discipline," he told CBC's Early Edition.

"It's of an increasing concern, especially for those of advanced age," Watson said.

Brian Leighton, the head of safety at Whistler Blackcomb, said the hill tries to enforce basic standards of behaviour on the ski hill.

"The basic code is important. We try and get that up and in people's faces so that it's understood what the expectations are [on the ski hill]," Leighton said.

Leighton says Whistler Blackcomb also does proactive outreach, and reins-in bad behaviour when it's spotted.

"We do have a crew of mountain safety volunteers and paid staff, people there that are on the lookout for people that are skiing too fast, that are reckless and endangering others," he said.

"It's pretty hard to police everywhere," he said.

MORE:cbcNews