Investigation still open in skier death

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The investigation into 13-year-old skier Ashley Stamp's death remains open, and no decision has been made on whether any charges should be filed.

Mark Hurlbert, district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District, said his office has not yet received a final investigation from the Colorado State Patrol.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Shawn Olmstead, who is investigating the case, could not be reached for comment.

When Hurlbert receives that investigation, he will decide whether further investigation by the Colorado State Patrol or by his own office is necessary, or whether a decision on charges can be made, he said.

Deciding whether charges should be filed should take only a few days after the report is received, he said.

"We like to get it done pretty quickly," Hurlbert said. "Already, people have been waiting around for a while, and we don't want them to wait any more."

Hurlbert said he had hoped to receive the report from the state patrol by Jan. 1, but that an investigation such as this one, in which many witnesses need to be interviewed, could take longer than usual.

Hurlbert said he would not speculate on what charges, if any, could be filed in this case.

Jen Brown, spokeswoman for Vail Ski Resort, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Stamp, a star member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, died Dec. 19 in a skiing accident at Vail Ski Resort. She was taking a practice run down the Gold Peak Race Area, preparing for a race, when she collided with a snowmobile coming uphill.

Vail Ski Resort employee Mark Chard, 27 of Vail, was driving the resort snowmobile. Chard and snowmobile passenger Thomas Conville, also a Vail Ski Resort employee, were working on the race crew.

An original press release from the Colorado State Patrol said the snowmobile had a siren on and was traveling at 10 mph, and that Ashley was wearing headphones, but that information was released prematurely and later was retracted. Several witnesses disputed the details in the initial report.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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