New troubles for Firearms training factility in July 4th death.


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PvtPyle
July 31, 2007, 03:09 PM
July 27, 2007 09:58 PM EDT

A fatal accident at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is
raising new questions about the safety of the facility near Pahrump.

The family of the man who died has filed a lawsuit. Among the
allegations is Front Sight staff failed to follow its own safety
procedures.

The accident on July 4th is the subject of a criminal investigation.
The I-Team learned late Thursday the Nye County sheriff's office plans
to recommend felony charges against two of the instructors involved in
the accident. Detectives believe their actions rise to the level of
criminal negligence.

The victim's family couldn't agree more.

The Valencia family gathered together on July 4th for the "First
Family Reunion" as it's called at the Front Sight Firearms Training
Institute, a gun range and adventure training facility near Pahrump.

Little did they know it would be their last family gathering with all
of family present.

911 tape: "Yes, this is Shannon Long, Front Sight, Nevada. I have a
medical emergency."

911 operator: "And what's going on?"

911 tape: "So this guy was on the zip line and he hit the lift we use
to get them off the zip line. Trauma to the head. When I got to him
about two minutes after, he was pulse-less and unresponsive."

911 operator: "Does he have a pulse now?"

911 tape: "No."

911 operator: "We'll get the ambulance in route."

The call is interrupted by Dalia Valencia's screams. From the tower
above she watched her husband strike a steel platform and then go
limp.

Dalia Valencia, Jesus' wife, said, "When I got there he was dying. He
was leaving me. I told him not to leave me that I wanted him here and
I couldn't do anything. He then closed his eyes."

According to a letter sent to Front Sight members, the instructor on
the tower released Jesus before his daughter cleared the line leaving
the instructor below to pull Valeria to safety while attempting to
lower the platform.

The Nye County sheriff's office told the I-Team that information is
consistent with its investigation, except for a missing detail. The
platform was operated by a 16-year-old.

Jesus Valencia, III said, "I just saw him, he was hanging from the
wire with his arms and his legs just loose, down. He stayed like that
for about five, ten minutes. They didn't help to bring him down. They
didn't give him any first aid."

Front Sight did not have an ambulance at the facility, according to
the sheriff, despite its remote location. Thirty one minutes after the
first call to 911 the first responder declared Jesus deceased and then
canceled the ambulance and the helicopter on stand-by.

Dalia Valencia said, "We celebrated 10 years of marriage and because
of the negligence of Front Sight, they have taken my husband away and
the father of my kids."

The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Front Sight
Firearms Training Institute.

Among the allegations is the staff failed to equip Jesus with a
certified safety helmet, violated their own safety protocols and then
left him hanging from the zip line for more than ten minutes. All of
it was in full view of his parents, his wife and his children.

"Right now my kids are devastated. My daughter is devastated," Dalia
continued. "I don't want this to happen to another family, to another
member, what happened to us."

Though the police are recommending criminal charges, it will be up to
the Nye County district attorney to make the final decision.

This is not the first accident at front sight. According to its web
site, it's had four accidental shootings. None of them were fatal.

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Bazooka Joe71
July 31, 2007, 03:28 PM
Very tragic...

But I'm not so sure criminal charges are in order.:scrutiny:

Leatherneck
July 31, 2007, 03:48 PM
Stupidity and negligence can certainly rise to a criminal level. This suit does seem rather quick...

TC

mindwip
July 31, 2007, 04:45 PM
But I'm not so sure criminal charges are in order

Yeah, when your company policy is already prone to get some one hurt, then you have a employ that breaks company policy. And you take no blame for what happened. And you say everything thing is safe. But dont back it up. I would say thats Criminal. Also neglect after you know your policy its self is not right.

Hope the company gets sued a lot over this. Bunch of poeple who dont know how to run a zip line and they get some one killed. Then say its safe. The employs is very little of what went wrong. Its the company policy that really help set up this accident.


I even sent a letter to the company President about how to make there zip safe. but did not get much of a response. They have no desire to change a broken system that gets people killed. Not a good company.

fletcher
July 31, 2007, 04:53 PM
If a family member of mine died in a legitimate unforseeable accident, I would not even think about filing a lawsuit (Thinking on the scale of freak accident that is really nobody's fault).

For this, however, the accounts I have read certainly suggest that it was someone's negligence and maybe more people's failure to respond that directly resulted in another person's death. Now that is a problem.

nplant
July 31, 2007, 05:00 PM
Mindwip -

What's the policy? I instruct there on a part time basis, but not on any of the ropes. If I read your post correctly, you are experienced with not only a zip line, but with Front Sight's implementation of a zip line. Since I don't have ANY experience with ropes, zip lines, rappelling, etc. I'm curious as to the actual ins and outs of the line.

I've been trying to figure out how Jesus could have been injured to the extent he was, given the information that's come out (head injury? spinal cord?). I just don't know enough to make an educated guess. By the way, I knew Jesus peripherally, from the members' forum, and he was a great guy, and I'm sad that he is no longer with us.

30 cal slob
July 31, 2007, 05:04 PM
wow.

it doesn't look good. :uhoh:

i'd be mad as hell if i were a family member of the deceased.

mindwip
July 31, 2007, 05:10 PM
This article does not say much about what happened to cause the accident. There press release on july 5? gave more detail. While i have not been there taking into account what they wrote in there press release.


Basically what they are doing wrong, company policy wise is how they run there Zip line. When you have a set up like they do, with a "lift" to get the zipper. You should not have the zipper coming in at such a speed to cause harm to him self if he were to hit something. It is much better to have it set up so that the last couple feet you need to push your self over the zip line to the pick up spot. This true with all zip lines, if you want to be really safe.

This would of made it so no one got hurt even if the employ messed up. True the employ should of never said "go" to the zipper. Was he in the wrong. Yes. But so was how the zip line was set up.

I have been rock climbing on and off since i was 13. I am not the best at it but i understand a lot. Also i have been on many zip lines before, seeing different set ups.

Does that answer your question better?

Also i have been wondering do you know if they wear helmets, dont remember reading if he had one on or not. Wonder if it would of made a difference. Over all how they ran the zip line did not seem right, especially in light of this new article. If its true and not hearsay.

nplant
July 31, 2007, 05:39 PM
Mindwip -

The one thing I do know about the ropes courses is that they require you to wear Front Sight provided safety gear, including a helmet. The idea is that then there is no question as to how to set up the gear, and presumably that it's in proper shape (inspected by the same people each time). But then, people are human.... I wasn't there this year, though, so I can't honestly attest that they were wearing helmets this time or not. In the past, they have given out helmets.

Anyway, I think I get what you're saying - sort of a 'brake zone' where the person would stop by friction instead of smacking into something? That way they'd have to actually personally initiate the move to get down?

The other thing I was trying to figure out, not having ever got on one of these things is, why didn't he just crunch up his body and protect his spine and head, or use his legs to smash into something? I'd much rather have a broken ribcage or femur than neck or cranium. Ah, I guess it's too late to armchair the accident, but I just wish that Jesus could have done something more also, and at least survive to complain about the horrible experience.

jerkface11
July 31, 2007, 05:51 PM
Why exactly is ziplining part of a firearms training course?

mindwip
July 31, 2007, 06:11 PM
The other thing I was trying to figure out, not having ever got on one of these things is, why didn't he just crunch up his body and protect his spine and head, or use his legs to smash into something? I'd much rather have a broken ribcage or femur than neck or cranium. Ah, I guess it's too late to armchair the accident, but I just wish that Jesus could have done something more also, and at least survive to complain about the horrible experience.


Good idea, in fact thats how you should ride a zip line. You are in a lieing down on a couch with your back propped up position, best way to describe it with out pics. This way your feet/legs which are straight in front of you hit before any part of you does. Your head would be the last. This position also gives you the most control of the zip line. Breaking wise its the best, you put your hand on the zip line "behind the pulley, if you put it in front its a good way to lose fingers" and squeeze the steel, this slows you down quite a bit.

There are many things you can do to avoid hitting something. But assuming the person is not experienced with zip lines they would not know what to do. Not there fault. They put there lives in others hands. I wonder what type of training they give the guest before they hop on.


Why exactly is ziplining part of a firearms training course?
No reason really but there fun as hell. Generally speaking zip lines are dangerous, duo to improper set up. But when you set them up right, there is nothing like zipping over 600 ft of steel 50ft in the air. And its very safe. I belvie they had it part of a obstacle course

jerkface11
July 31, 2007, 06:37 PM
No reason really but there fun as hell. Generally speaking zip lines are dangerous, duo to improper set up. But when you set them up right, there is nothing like zipping over 600 ft of steel 50ft in the air.And its very safe. I belvie they had it part of a obstacle course

I'm confused here are you saying ziplines are safe or dangerous?

mindwip
July 31, 2007, 06:51 PM
I'm confused here are you saying ziplines are safe or dangerous?

I could see why you would be confused. sorry:o. Try reading it like this.



No reason really but there fun as hell. Generally speaking zip lines are dangerous, duo to improper set up. But when you set them up right, there is nothing like zipping over 600 ft of steel 50ft in the air.And its very safe. I belvie they had it part of a obstacle course


Yes all rock climbing/rappeling/ zip lines are very dangerous. If fact i beleive everyone who takes part in these sports should read Accidents in North American Mountaineering they come out every year. Its about Accidents in North American Mountaineering, it is tales from the people who survived something bad, or from rangers saying they found 2 bodies with a pack of new gear with there price tags stillon. But even thou they are dangerous there are many, many things you can do to reduce the risk and make it through a life time of rock climbing/rappeling/ zip lines with out getting hurt. When done properly these activities are very safe. Safe safe safe. Most accidents happen to people who just started/ over confident. Due to the fact they dont know what there doing 100% yet. Same with guns, guns are very dangerous, but if you follow all the rules then you will be fine. Of course there is still mother nature to take into account, you are climbing up a wall when a boulder the size of a house lets go and falls on you. Not even a helmet will help you then.


Very good read, shows you how important helmets really are. And also nice tips for safty. Learn by others mistakes.
http://www.amazon.com/Accidents-North-American-Mountaineering-Williamson/dp/093041098X

I wish they had these for guns. I think it would teach a lot of people more about gun safety.

CountGlockula
July 31, 2007, 07:09 PM
It just shows that whatever training facility you're involved in, situational awareness is key. If you see something wrong, like a minor operating a dangerous mechanism or RO not being professional, SPEAK UP or leave the vacinity to prevent any incidents.

It definitely gives you another view of things. Maybe that's why my wife doesn't like going to my shooting events.

Cosmoline
July 31, 2007, 07:27 PM
situational awareness is key

Yeah, like realizing you're in the compound with a bunch of zip lining fruitloops and getting the heck out of there! Zip lines at gun ranges are a very odd and disturbing combination. It will be interesting to see if they had coverage for any of these activities.

nplant
July 31, 2007, 08:58 PM
I don't think that they give much actual instruction before the zip line during the 4th of July celebration. Again, I've not gone on it, so I can't intelligently comment on that part. In years past, there has been a HUGE line for that particular event, so I can't imagine the instructions are very involved.

As to the question of what part does a zip line play in a firearms course, the answer is none. The zip line is part of a ropes course that the facility runs, in addition to the firearms, knife, and empty-hand courses. The facility is very close to Red Rock, and there are a lot of rock climbers that head out there. I think that part of the idea was to attract a near-by demographic for more revenue, but that's speculation on my part. It makes good business sense, though.

In all fairness, someone's age really shouldn't be a factor in this incident, beyond whether or not the insurance companies would allow it. The fault was not on the 16 year old at the end of the line, but the adult at the top for allowing someone to leave the platform without the line being clear. Like anything else, each of us would respond to a situation like this based on our training and maturity. Although I wasn't there at the time of the accident, I know that many of the younger helpers are very mature (for any age), and the ones I've worked with there are top notch, no matter what "grade" they're in.

Further, my understanding from the outside is that the lift operator did the correct thing in getting Jesus' daughter down from the platform first, loaded up a trained paramedic and went back up to try to help Jesus. Also, the reports have varied wildly on how long he was up in the air (from less than 2 minutes to over 10 minutes).

I'm surprised at the family's decision to entertain a news crew, but not at all surprised that they filed a lawsuit (if they hadn't, no insurance company would have paid a thing, period).

At any rate, the membership lost a friend and fellow shooter, and for that, we're all sad. I think the best thing that could come of the tragedy would be for better procedures, better setup (as Mindwip has pointed out), and maybe even different management procedures for safety. I'd also point out that this is the first accident on the property, that I'm aware of, that can be clearly stated to be NOT THE FAULT of the deceased. The other accidents were caused by not following the four rules, or the procedures of operating a specific firearm (the incident reports are available on the Front Sight website, in case anyone wants to read them).

CNYCacher
July 31, 2007, 09:29 PM
From the article, it sounds like this particular line was set up so that when you came to a stop, they would raise a platform up to you and then unhook you from the zipline. It sounds as though the platform was still raised from the previous rider when Jesus started down the zipline. Seeing Jesus coming dowm, they couldn't lower the platform fast enough, and he slammed into it.


All gun safety is based on eliminating risk even in a seemingly innocuous situation. Is it okay to point a gun at your friend if the safety is on? NO!!! The rule is you don't point the gun at anything you don't want to destroy. The rule does not say "Unless the safety is on", the rule says "NEVER". Someone might say, "But the gun won't go off." The answer is "But what if it does? FOLLOW THE RULES!"

Some thing in this situation, really. The guy whose job it was to lower the platform was the "safety".

How about this parallel:
"Do not handle firearms on the firing line until the range is called clear."
"Do not handle harnesses and pulleys at the top of the zip line until the bottom of the zipline is ready for you to come down."

"Treat all firearms as though they were loaded."
"Treat all ziplines as though they were obstructed."

As someone who is involved in guns and also ropework, the parallels just keep coming to me.

I guess if I have a point it is this: The zipline sounds like a horrible design. Somebody should have been applying the "If something CAN go wrong, it WILL, so be prepared!" principle, which firearm safety is based around, to their zipline.

Stevie-Ray
July 31, 2007, 09:36 PM
I expected this much earlier than now.

Calhoun
July 31, 2007, 09:39 PM
I want to jump into this fray here. As someone who used to build ropes courses professionally, including MANY zip lines, I have a bit of knowledge to inject in the debate.

First off, zip lines are incredibly safe if they are run in the correct manner by trained staff.

Second, said staff need to have excelent communication skills. Including having (with respect to Art's Grammaw) the balls to tell the participants to shut the hell up so you can communicate with the other staff on the ground.

Third, the best and safest way for a zipline to be built is with a gravity brake system. In this system the 2 ends of the cable are at roughly the same height and the participant simply slides back and forth until they come to a stop. This is usually 2 of 3 passes past the take-off point, depending on the weight of the participant (usually). That take-off point is roughly the center of the span. This take-off point MUST be high enough off the ground that there is absolutly NO chance a participant can hit. So you are looking at anywhere from 6 feet up when loaded. That being said, there needs to be something used to get them off the zip. A ladder, or sometimes a platform that rolls or folds down out of the way is probably the most common method.

Fourth, and from what I have read this is where the problem was, that take off device (ladder, platform, etc) must be removed before another participant is even attached to the zip.

Fifth, ziplines are fun as all get out.

Sixth, and this is for all the parents out there. Don't buy the zip line kits you can find at some toystores or other retailers or online. The cable and hardware included in those kits are are simply not safe. The cable in much too small and the hardware tends to be stamped instead of forged. This means that the hardware is made of a soft enough metal that the cable can saw through the hardware. If you want a zipline for the kids in the backyard contact a company that knows what they are doing. (If you are looking, feel free to PM me and I'll try to point you in the right direction)

There you go. My 2 or 3 or 4 cents worth.

mindwip
July 31, 2007, 09:45 PM
I would trust my life to a 16 year old. I dont think age is a big factor. Maybe this 16 yr old was not capable of handling it. But i am sure other 16 year olds are.


I don't think that they give much actual instruction before the zip line during the 4th of July celebration

If thats true that would explain why the guest was in a bad position when he hit by the sound of his injuries and why he left the platform even thou some one told him to, when it was not clear. Or why he did not brake him self with hands and\or feet. Dont get me wrong i am not in no way or shape blaming the guest. If he was not told about this stuff he would never of known what to do. This is more the fault of the company, if he was not told. Poor staff training. But as we were not there we can only guess at some of the stuff.


"Sixth, and this is for all the parents out there. Don't buy the zip line kits you can find at some toystores or other retailers or online. The cable and hardware included in those kits are are simply not safe. The cable in much too small and the hardware tends to be stamped instead of forged. This means that the hardware is made of a soft enough metal that the cable can saw through the hardware. If you want a zipline for the kids in the backyard contact a company that knows what they are doing. (If you are looking, feel free to PM me and I'll try to point you in the right direction)"

Do they really sell zip lines in stores? I have never seen any in Ca. Sounds like there bad kits. eck. What some people do for money.

CDignition
August 1, 2007, 07:42 PM
You trust your life to 16 year olds everytime you drive a car... cause theres always newbie 16 year old drivers out there, just looking for an accident

Calhoun
August 1, 2007, 08:34 PM
Mindwip- Yes, there are some DIY zipline kits that you can find. The cable usually used in these kits is very similar in diameter to the clothesline that consists of a thin metal core and a vinyl sheath. Maybe 1/5th of an inch. Maybe. Those kits are lucky to top out at 1000 lbs.
The professionally installed zips are typically made of 3/8" 7x19 (7 strand bundles made up of 19 individual strands) galvanized aircraft cable with an average breaking strengenth somewhere in the neighborhood of 14,500 lbs. Needless to say, it's really hard to break that stuff.

canopy2k
August 1, 2007, 09:41 PM
I don't understand why you guys keep focusing on the 16 year old kid. This was NOT his fault, in any way.

The deceased's daughter had zipped down. The 16 year old was recovering the daughter, when the ADULT at the top of the zip-line apparently released the father. The 16 year old did everything he could to get the daughter out of the way and lower the platform in time, but was unsuccessful. From my understanding, the platform was a scissor-type lift. If you've ever used one of these, they are very slow on descent. For a reason.

The person at fault was the guy at the tower, not this poor 16 year old kid who maybe saved the daughters life by getting her out of the way.

BTW, those of you saying that the platform should be at the end of the zip-line, instead of the middle, have never ridden a zip line. You zip down, past the point where the cable sags the lowest, then go back and forth til your momentum ceases. A recovery platform at the end of the line would be useless.

c2k

Oohrah
August 1, 2007, 10:11 PM
OK kind of think I know what a zip line is. However, accidents
happen. I can remember fatal accidents during training in the
Marine Corps, but no law suits. Pahrump has a shooting range?
Nye Co Deputy Sheriff 68 to 70 with no medical aid then other
then Las Vegas some 70 miles away. Accidents, yep. Law suits
nope! During that time Pahrump had two Deputies and a JP.
Felonies went to Tonopah a goodly distance north to Nye's county
seat. Unfortunate accident, but that's what it is !!! Law suit, huh?
Civilization must have arrived!!!!

SaxonPig
August 1, 2007, 10:18 PM
Zip line? I'm sorry, but my ignorance is showing. What is a zip line?

Was the man sliding down a rope and hit his head?

mindwip
August 1, 2007, 10:47 PM
Zip line? I'm sorry, but my ignorance is showing. What is a zip line?

Was the man sliding down a rope and hit his head?

Yes your right. A zip line is a rope or steel cable or two steel cables. It starts at a high point and travels to a low point. The rope that connects these two points is the "line" the zip part is when you put on a harness and travel over the cable, gravity pulls you over the "line" thus you are zipping of the line. Hence its called a zip line. Not really very creative naming thou:D

And yes he was sliding down and hit a lift at the end of the line.


OK kind of think I know what a zip line is. However, accidents
happen.

Yes accidents happen, but when you cause an accident through criminal neglect you can get sued or go to jail. Here is another way of saying it. In Ca you are protected as a good samaritan. They made this law becuase people were on the road side dieing and passer bys would not help. They did not want to help because often times in the prosses of helping they might hurt the person they are helping. And get sued fro no reason.

Example doing CPR it is easy and common to break ribs, its just excepted. Whats a broken rid to giving someone life. People were suing for getting there ribs broken. Never mind the fact there life was saved. So a law passed saying if you help some one and do it part way right you cant get sued. Its just a accident they got hurt. But if i were to try to do CPR on someone by jumping up and down on there chest with my feet, then i may be tried for neglectful acts. Thats the difference between an accident and a neglectful accident.

Thats what they are being sued for. Any lawyers to back me up on that. My business law is not the best right now.



BTW, those of you saying that the platform should be at the end of the zip-line, instead of the middle, have never ridden a zip line. You zip down, past the point where the cable sags the lowest, then go back and forth til your momentum ceases. A recovery platform at the end of the line would be useless


Sorry but there is more then one way to make a zip line that is safe. Have you ever used a zip line to travel in a jungle. Or used one when rock climbing to bridge a gap, to get your 70lb packs over and lesser climbers. It would be pointless to have you stop in the middle and then pull your self over half way. Most of the zip lines i have been on were from one end to the other. Platform to platform. There is no danger of hitting anything because of breaking. You dont let your self go balls out all the way. But these are also ones for poeple who are trained in zip lines too. If i was setting up a "fun" line i would do the stopping at middle. If i was setting up a line with people who knew the basics, i would have it so they could barely reach the other end, with no breaking. If they braked at all they would stop short and have to pull them selfs.

Calhoun
August 1, 2007, 11:07 PM
Sorry but there is more then one way to make a zip line that is safe. Have you ever used a zip line to travel in a jungle. Or used one when rock climbing to bridge a gap, to get your 70lb packs over and lesser climbers. It would be pointless to have you stop in the middle and then pull your self over half way. Most of the zip lines i have been on were from one end to the other. Platform to platform. There is no danger of hitting anything because of breaking. You dont let your self go balls out all the way. But these are also ones for poeple who are trained in zip lines too. If i was setting up a "fun" line i would do the stopping at middle. If i was setting up a line with people who knew the basics, i would have it so they could barely reach the other end, with no breaking. If they braked at all they would stop short and have to pull them selfs.

I believe you are refering to a tyrolean traverse. Very similar to a zipline, however. The zipline that is being discussed here is the type that you would find on a challenge/ropes course. Those are either gravity braked. (There are some that employ a friction break, but very few of those are built now. And they aren't all that fun.)

mindwip
August 2, 2007, 12:02 AM
They can both be called a zipline. Everyone i know, plus definitions on the net/books i have say there called ziplines. I have also heard Death Ropes used too by some, but in a less formal saying. It may be a location thing but in Ca i have never heard the tyrolean traverse used as a term. Or in 4 other Countries for that matter. I believe its the same difference as abseiling and rappelling. Both are right.

ps Also i am using the term, Front Sight is.

Henry Bowman
August 2, 2007, 11:19 AM
The person at fault was the guy at the tower, not this poor 16 year old kid who maybe saved the daughters life by getting her out of the way. Yep. Sure looks that way.

BTW, those of you saying that the platform should be at the end of the zip-line, instead of the middle, have never ridden a zip line. You zip down, past the point where the cable sags the lowest, then go back and forth til your momentum ceases. A recovery platform at the end of the line would be useless.I have done it (in Costa Rica) from platform to platform 200' in the air in the canopy of a rain forest surrounded by monkeys and exotic birds. Out of about 20 lines, only 2 (including the last one) ended at the ground. Even then there was no raise-and-lower platform.

We were instructed how to control our speed (as described earlier in this thread). A staff person at the end of each line would signal to speed up or slow down. My wife misinterpreted one of the signals and did a "George of the Jungle" into the tree platform. [Wish I had it on video ;)] A few scrapes, but the staff person reacted quickly to grab her as she came in and minimize impact. Never felt unreasonably unsafe at all.

zeroskillz
August 2, 2007, 11:33 AM
that'll be a big settlement for sure.

buzz_knox
August 2, 2007, 11:44 AM
Unfortunate accident, but that's what it is !!! Law suit, huh?
Civilization must have arrived!!!!

Actually, in those circumstances, civilization constituted the gov't declaring itself immune from liability for accidents involving officers or recruits. Lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of defective equipment involved in such accidents.

In this case, unless a waiver of liability was executed and won't be found to violate public policy, there is no immunity to suit.

Bwana John
August 2, 2007, 12:04 PM
It may be a location thing but in Ca i have never heard the tyrolean traverse used as a term. Or in 4 other Countries for that matter. I believe its the same difference as abseiling and rappelling. Both are right.

I would NOT call a tyrolean traverse and a zip line the same thing.

A tyrolean traverse is a mountaineering tecnique, a zipline is somthing to amuse in a ropes/adventure corse.

The only way a "zipline" would be used in mountaineering would be to quickly lower a pack or other small object, not a human body.

But then again I have never been a gym rat.

I was thinking when I first saw this that the were shooting as thy went down the zipline.:what:

buzz_knox
August 2, 2007, 12:08 PM
I was thinking when I first saw this that the were shooting as thy went down the zipline.

I believe Correia has posted about doing this, although not at Front Sight.

Correia
August 3, 2007, 04:50 PM
Yeah, I shot from a zipline at the MGM Ironman. It was organized and perfectly safe.

And if you can focus on your front sight at 25 miles an hour, forty feet in the air, you can focus anytime. :)

nplant
August 3, 2007, 07:16 PM
There are always liability waivers executed at Front Sight. Always. They're generally well worded, and give you the idea that, "Hey, I'm about to engage in an activity that *could* get me hurt or worse."

Should the authorities investigating the accident decide that there is neglect, and then deem it criminal, I'm not aware of any waiver that can get someone out of it.

Again, though, I'll state plainly that every single instructor I've ever worked with (either as a fellow instructor or as a student) at Front Sight has been professional, serious, and safety-conscious to a high degree. I would personally be very surprised if criminal neglect is the final answer in this case, but I won't say it's impossible. People are individuals, and at any given time, someone's judgment may lapse to a so-called criminal level in the eyes of another. I do know that the instructor on the platform would gladly trade places with Jesus, if it were possible.

mindwip
August 3, 2007, 09:21 PM
The only way a "zipline" would be used in mountaineering would be to quickly lower a pack or other small object, not a human body.

But then again I have never been a gym rat.



I hope your not implying i am a gym rat? On the whole thats not nice. Because about 98% of my climbing has been on real rock, setting up my own routes. The only time i go to a gym is when my friends want to try rock climbing for the first time. I go there to give them a taste to see if they like it. Oh and my parents sent me to a gym summer camp when i was 13 at Rockreation, for 3 summers in a row.

I still stand by, that my friends/instructors call both a zipline and tyrolean traverse the same thing. After looking up the definition of tyrolean traverse i know what it is and have used it thou under a different name. But every one i know calls both of them the same thing. It may not be right grammar wise but thats what we call it. Sorry if there was a misunderstanding.:cool:

Cosmoline
August 3, 2007, 09:30 PM
Personally, I ain't gettin' on anything called "zip" OR "Tyrolean."

akodo
August 4, 2007, 01:49 PM
Accidents can and do happen. We humans are falible creatures. It is very understandable that someone does something too soon because they weren't paying enough attention to X Y or Z, or whatever.

I still see negligence here.

It was definately not the fault of the 16 year old.

However, employing a 16 year old in that function brings questions to my mind about the saftey mindset of the upper managment.

I grew up on a farm, and operated heavy machinery helping out. At 16 you can be mature, and at 18, or 21, you can be immmature. However, there are more immature people at age 16 than there are at 21. This is why you cannot be a schoolbus driver at the age of 16. When you are operating the machinery with just yourself, it is one thing, when you are servicing customers, it is entirely different. Also, a young person is less likely to call more senior members on unsafe practices. Something like "Hey, you are letting them go before I am fully lowered on the ground, knock that ****** off!"

Because people are falible, elimiate as much potential risk as possible. This includes playing the odds and selecting people over the age of 18 to operate dangerous equipment when it involves other people.

And on that same note, there should have been helmets worn. You don't wear a helmet, you don't buckle your seatbelt, you don't carry CCW because you know you need it, you do it because maybe, just maybe, you do. That is why this is going to be negligent death. They had helmets there in the past, they made people wear them in the past (from previous posters).

Also it strikes me as questioning the mindset. As others have posted, there are so many parallels between firearms saftey, and just the concept of 'have the firearm just in case' that I really wonder if they are only paying lipservice to that idea, because if they would truely embrace that concept whole-heartedly (along with the doctrine of best way to avoid a fight is don't go down that way in the first place) then using helmets would ahve been first and foremost in their minds

Red State
August 4, 2007, 06:34 PM
It will be interesting see what will happen in this case.

I just happen to have a business law reference book sitting on my desk. Here is what it says about negligence:

For a plaintiff to win a negligence lawsuit, they must prove five elements.
1. Duty of Due Care: The defendant had a duty to care for the plaintiff.
In this instance it seems reasonable that the instructor at the top of the zip line had a duty to check that Valencia's harness was secure, helmet was on properly, and that the cable was clear.

2. Breach: The defendant breached his/her duty.
The facts of this event seem to indicated that the instructor did not check to ensure that the cable was clear.

3. Factual Cause: The defendant's conduct actually caused the injury.
If the instructor gave the green light to the deceased, then this is a problem for the instructor. (It will be interesting to hear the details of what happened on the platform. For example, was there any miscommunication between Valencia and the instructor? Did Valencia disregard direction from the instructor?)

4. Foreseeable Harm: It was foreseeable that the defendant's conduct might cause this type of harm.
Obviously it is foreseeable that sending someone down a zip line that is not confirmed to be clear might result in them hitting something at a high rate of speed. And hitting something at a high rate of speed might result in serious injury or death. Again, this does not look good for the instructor.

5. Injury: The plaintiff has actually been hurt.
The wife lost her husband. That definetely qualifies as an injury (an injury does not have to be physical; it can be monetary or emotional)

All things considered, looks like a tough spot for the instructor and/or Front Sight. His defense may hinge upon the deceased disobeying direction or being partially responsible in some other way.

PS. Nplant is right. A waiver does not mean that the participants lose their rights and that Front Sight can abandon all reasonable safety precautions without fear of consequenses.

Criminal Negligence: A gross deviation from reasonable conduct.
A book example of this is a hunter who sees movement in the woods and shoots at it without bothering to determine if it is game or a human.

The key question here is whether or not the instructor's conduct was reasonable. (subjective, I know.)

Average Guy
August 4, 2007, 07:01 PM
Thank you, Calhoun, for a lucid and level-headed explanation free from thinly veiled bias. :)

As for some of you others, if you don't like FS, just say it. To declare that one fatal accident in however many years of operation smacks of religious zealotry or institutional negligence is just ludicrous. I've had my issues with FS, but I don't consider this incident as somehow "bound to happen."

What does ziplining have to do with gun training? The same thing, I guess, as shooting from the door of a helicopter in flight. They're both just FUN. When I build my shooting ranch/SHTF compound, you can bet I'll have a zipline. You know, for the children.

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