French alps

An English teen died on a chair lift in the French alps in 2011. The lift supervisor and operator are facing involuntary manslaughter charges for the chairlift death. Photo: Flickr user vriole_bridee

The chairlift supervisor Richard Cettour and the chair lift company SAEM Sports et Tourisme a Châtel in the southern alps of France are facing involuntary manslaughter charges after the death of a 14-year-old English teen in 2011.

Kieran Brooks was riding a chair lift at the Châtel Ski Resort when he had the accident.

According to the BBC, Brooks was wearing a backpack on the lift and when he tried to get off, he got tangled up in the backpack straps.

He was dangling from the lift and the straps cut off his airway.

He was taken to a hospital in France and later England where he spent a month in a coma before he died.

Backpacks were not allowed on the six-person ski lifts yet Brooks was still allowed to ride.

Ski-lift operator Cettour is accused of not being at his post at the time of the accident and not reacting quickly enough to hit the emergency stop.

Cettour and SAEM are accused of not checking the equipment daily, not ensuring a safety device which could stop the lift was properly installed and failing to enforce the no-backpacks rule.

“More has to be done to stop such a thing ever happening again,” Keiran’s father Nick Brookes said, according to the BBC.

The judges will deliberate and make a ruling on Nov. 17.

The prosecution is asking for a one-year jail term for Cettour and nearly $84,000 from the lift company.

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