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Boy slips, dangles from ski lift by his child harness

August 7, 1997

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) _ A 4-year-old boy slipped from a ski lift and dangled by a child harness attached to his aunt’s wrist for 20 minutes before he was lowered to safety.

Zane Huft dangled 25 feet above rocks at the Timberline Ski Area after slipping off the chair lift Wednesday just moments after he and his aunt boarded for the return trip down from 7,000 feet.

Chairlift operators halted the chair when the boy fell, but the chair already had moved beyond a safety net near the boarding area.

David Gorsek of Portland, who was waiting to board the chairlift, ran down to the area below the chair and talked to the boy.

The child was screaming ``Get me down! Get me down,″ as his aunt struggled to hold onto him. ``She was holding on for dear life,″ Gorsek said.

Gorsek and other bystanders grabbed a large tarp and spread foam pads beneath the boy while ski lift operators rappelled to him from the chairlift cable and lowered him to the ground.

Jon Tullis, Timberline spokesman, said chairlift operators had just lowered the safety bar across passengers’ laps when the boy slipped out.

The U.S. Forest Service said it will investigate the incident.

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