Skier To Be Sentenced for Collision


Wednesday, January 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


DENVER (AP) — Nathan Hall had just ended his shift as a lift operator at the Vail ski resort and was heading down the slope when he caused a deadly collision that prompted resorts to crack down on speedy skiers.

Hall, who was later convicted of negligent homicide, admits he was skiing too fast when he struck Alan Cobb of Denver on May 26, 1997.

``If I wouldn't have been skiing that fast, I probably wouldn't have lost control, and that accident wouldn't have happened,'' he told ``Dateline NBC'' in an interview that aired Tuesday night. ``So I got to look at the facts and say, `Yeah, it was my fault.'''

Hall, 21, of Chico, Calif., was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. He faces up to six years in prison.

``The ski industry will be watching the sentencing closely,'' said Jim Chalat, a lawyer who specializes in ski law. ``It is very probable from my experience that the court will impose a jail sentence, especially if the victims' relatives seek it.''

In the NBC interview, Hall said he remembers losing control and trying to regain it, but doesn't recall the collision itself. He said he thinks of Cobb and his family every day.

``If I could trade my life for his, I honestly would — I wish there was more I could do,'' he said.

Since Cobb's death, several major Colorado resorts have clamped down on reckless skiers and snowboarders.

``You're surrounded by safety messages at every single ski resort,'' says Jim Felton, a spokesman for Breckenridge, the nation's busiest resort two straight years.

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On the Net:

National Ski Areas Association: http://www.nsaa.org