Tahoe Resort Chairlift Drags 5-Year-Old Boy

Thursday, Mar 11, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 AM PDT
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Tahoe Resort Chairlift Drags 5-Year-Old Boy

KCRA

Parker Lenning, 5, was hurt when he fell from a moving chairlift and was dragged for 10-15 feet.

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What started out as a fun day on the slopes turned into frightening and painful experience for a young Northern California boy.

Now, 5-year-old Parker Lennig's parents are accusing a chairlift operator at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort of not paying attention, which resulted in the boy's hips and thighs being in a cast.

"Chairlift in the snow was, like, crushing me," Parker said.

Parker was on a ski trip at the resort with his brother and grandfather Friday. Just as they were reaching the end of their second ride up the Easy Rider Express chairlift near the base lodge, Parker fell out.

Parker's father said when he looked over at the chairlift operator, she was looking down and didn't notice the accident until the chair had dragged him 10 to 15 feet.

"I would hope that never ... that another parent never has to watch their child get steamrolled by a chair like that," Matt Lennig said. "It keeps me up at night."

An ambulance took Parker Lennig to a hospital with bruises and a dislocated hip.

The resort disputes the family's story, saying that the operator did her job just fine.

Kirstin Cattell from Sierra-At-Tahoe said the operator was inside the lift shack, she saw Parker fall, and immediately hit the stop button on the lift. At that point, the chair passed over Parker. Cattell said the operator then ran out of the lift shack to help Parker and came back into the lift shack to immediately call ski patrol.

Parker's parents haven't ruled out a lawsuit, but said for now, they're focused on warning other parents about chairlift risks.

This article originally appeared on KCRA.com

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