February 27, 2016 - 2:30 PM
CALGARY - Friends and family of a British woman who died in a Calgary hospital after a collision with a snowboarder at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort say the RCMP should be conducting a criminal investigation into her death.
Anne Woods, 55, of Crawley, West Sussex, England, was near the end of a three-week vacation in Canada when she went skiing at the resort near Golden, B.C., earlier this month.
She was with a group of eight people, including her husband, Terry, and had reached the end of a green run and entered a ski slow zone when she collided with a 26-year-old snowboarder visiting from Mexico.
Family spokesman Shaun Moloney says they want the resort’s safety practices reviewed and the RCMP to investigate.
The initial RCMP investigation into the crash found no evidence of a crime and the case was closed.
Investigators did not interview or collect a witness statement from Terry Woods and the snowboarder has reportedly returned to Mexico.
Moloney said Terry Woods saw someone coming very fast "in a blur across his vision" moments before his wife was struck.
“Her body was flung forward and the force of that caused both her shoulder blades to be broken and for her spinal cord to snap,” said Moloney of the medical assessment of Anne Woods’ injuries.
She was airlifted to hospital in Calgary. Her life support was removed two days later and she succumbed to her injuries.
The snowboarder is reported to have told resort officials and police that he was travelling at a moderate speed and did not see Anne Woods as he had crested a ridge.
Moloney said that explanation contradicts the evidence.
“We believe he was going fast and did jump,” said Moloney. “How do you explain the medical evidence and degree of injuries that indicate high speed?
“We were astounded to be told there was no criminal matter to be investigated. (The police) statement to us was once you’ve bought the ticket then you’ve implicitly accepted the inherent risk associated with skiing and therefore, if you’re injured or, in this case, killed when undertaking the activity, you have no recourse for criminal law.”
Matt Mosteller of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies issued a statement outlining Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s commitment to safety.
“We have a significant protocol that our team follows specifically around creating a safe skiing and riding environment,” said Mosteller. “From signage when you arrive, at the ticket window before you even board a lift, and then once on the mountain. There is an array of highly visual signage to alert guests and remind guests.”
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016