Skier's widow pleads for safety changes at Sugarloaf
One year after a Nova Scotia man died in a skiing crash in Maine his widow, a nurse practitioner, says the Sugarloaf resort needs to have an emergency contingency plan for bad weather.
Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of 41-year-old David Morse's death.
A medical report from Maine shows paramedics were slow to recognize the severity of Morse's injuries after he hit a tree. In the middle of a snow storm the injured man could not be airlifted to hospital.
Morse, an intermediate skier who was wearing a helmet, died of chest trauma on the way to hospital.
"I knew he was going to die," said wife Dana Morse.
She said she's worried a similar situation, with equally tragic consequences, could happen without implementing changes.
"What about the next family? What has EHS done for those paramedics so they don't fail … because they clearly focused on my husband's fractured arm and not [his] internal injuries," she said.
To make matters worse, Morse said when she asked to move from the front of the ambulance to the back to be with her husband the driver accidentally left her on the side of the road.
"Sorry wasn't enough. He took the last minutes of my husband's life away from me."
No training 'deficiency'
Morse said she wants paramedics to have crisis intervention training.
"Obviously some of their ski patrol are not prepared to deal with these kinds of circumstances."
Jay Bradshaw, director of Maine's Emergency Medical services, said his paramedics don't need additional training.
"We didn't find there was a deficiency such that it required additional training for all EMTs or all paramedics in the state. Being so far from the hospital was what led to Mr. Morse's death."
Morse said many things went wrong but she is not going to sue.
"It would be very difficult to say the outcome would be any different unless we would have had Life Flight," she said.
The nearest hospital is about an hour from Sugarloaf.
The ski resort has not responded to a request for comment.
A celebration of David Morse's life will take place Friday in the Annapolis Valley.
"I've tried to teach (our) boys that life is not without risk. We're a very clear example of that.... bad things happen," said his wife.
"My youngest son and I actually skied last year with my sister-in-law, which was difficult but we did it."
The family said it's heading to Mont Tremblant in March for a ski trip.