Girl Falls 30 Feet From Ski Lift

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WILMOT - A terrifying accident at a Kenosha County ski area. A 9-year-old girl fell 30 feet from a ski lift. It happened Friday evening at Wilmot Mountain. The ski patrol rescued her from near the top of the ski hill and paramedics rushed her to a Flight for Life helicopter. The girl told emergency responders that she tried to adjust her loose ski while riding the lift. "She lost her balance and started to fall," explained Town of Salem Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Slover. "Her dad caught her and was holding onto her as long as he could, then lost grip and she fell." Slover estimates the girl plummeted about 30 feet. Somehow the girl landed with no apparent injuries. Slover said she never lost consciousness and suffered no broken bones. Yet, rescuers decided to airlift her to Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa as a precaution. "She was more concerned about going to the hospital and going to the doctor," Slover told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "She was very concerned about getting a needle stick." Wilmot Mountain did not want to comment; an employee told TODAY'S TMJ4 that this and other accidents on their hill are handled between management and guests. "I hope she's ok. I hope she's all right," said Pat Smerz, who frequently skis at Wilmot. Smerz said he still gets nervous when his family rides up. He worries about Wilmot chairs that do not have a safety bar restraint. "I make sure that they're planted in the seats right," said Smerz. "Even my wife, I make sure she's back in their tight and I always keep my arm on them." Ski lift seat restraints are uncommon in the Midwest, according to Jim Engel, owner of Sunburst Ski Area in Kewaskum. Engel said Wilmot's chair lifts are well maintained. Fire Chief Mike Slover said he is not concerned about the safety of the lift.