Mother dies on Austrian slope

18th February 2010, by Chris Gill

Kaprun's glacier slopes

Kaprun's glacier slopes

A British mother of three has died following a collision on the slopes in Kaprun, Austria, during a half-term holiday with her family.

The tragedy happened on a blue glacier run at Kaprun’s Kitzsteinhorn ski area. First newspaper reports suggested that this was not a notably high-speed incident, but that neither woman was wearing a helmet. The woman (46), whose husband was skiing ahead of her and didn’t witness the accident, collided with a Dutch skier (26) and died at the scene.

The Dutch skier was airlifted to hospital in Zell am See, where she is reported to have suffered spinal injuries.

According to the Times, a local police spokesman said: ‘The accident is a mystery. There are no witnesses and we do not think that the two skiers were skiing very fast. They were in a relatively easy ski area and the conditions were good.’

The run was not especially busy, and is considered a broad blue that is regularly used by novices. The British woman involved was said to be an experienced skier, and was on a week-long trip with her husband and three children – the children were in ski school on another slope at the time of the accident.

Austrian regulations dictate helmet use for children, but there are no such rulings for adults. It is unclear whether a helmet would have made a difference to this particular tragedy, but it highlights the concern to improve safety on the pistes.

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