Brecken Boice’s parents allege resort failed to take proper safety steps
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The parents of a 9-year-old Tacoma, Wash., boy who died after a fatal fall down the icy slopes of Mt. Bachelor early last year have filed a nearly $50 million wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against the ski resort and its parent company, Powdr Corp.
Brecken Boice was skiing with his parents, Brian and Angela Boice, and younger brother on Jan. 16, 2021 when he tumbled down the icy slopes and crashed into rocks, suffering fatal injuries.
That afternoon, Brecken and his father rode the Summit Express lift to the summit, and according to the lawsuit, resort workers at the bottom of the lift said conditions were “good, with minimal ice build-up, making the runs compatible with Brian and Brecken Boice’s abilities and experience.”
However, when the got off the lift, “they encountered unexpected and severe ice conditions” – and before they could look for a compatible run, “Brecken fell and started to slide down the mountain, gaining speed and impacting rocks and other obstacles.”
During the slide, the lawsuit states, the boy’s skis, helmet and articles of clothing were ripped off as he “slid to the bottom of the run without stopping.” He was flown to St. Charles Bend, and despite “heroic efforts to save his life,” the boy died late that night.
The lawsuit also claims Brecken’s father saw his son start to slide but was unable to reach him or control his own descent, also losing clothing and striking obstacles in his own fall.
“Brian Boice heard his son’s screams as Brecken continued to hurtle down the icy slope,” the lawsuit states. The screams stopped, and he “followed the trail of blood to his son’s body, where he desperately tried to comfort his little boy and protect him from other skiers who had lost control on the extreme ice and were hurtling toward them.”
The lawsuit claims the resort and its workers were negligent “in failing to adequately inspect and monitor for hazardous ice conditions within resort bounds that were not reasonably obvious or visible” to patrons, and also “in failing to limit the number of open ski runs and parts of the resort where unexpected and unanticipated hazardous ice conditions were present.”
The lawsuit claims the resort failed to adequately train staff to monitor, inspect and report hazardous ice conditions on runs and areas leading to them, or to develop a systematic method to do so. It says the conditions were “not an inherent risk of skiing,” and “the risks created by the icy conditions were neither obvious, expected, nor necessary.”
NewsChannel 21 has reached out to a Mt. Bachelor spokesman for comment.
Here is the full lawsuit:
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