A packed ski lift at a Wisconsin ski resort suddenly began running backwards yesterday, injuring at least a dozen people. Sauk County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chip Meister said the incident occurred around 7 p.m. Thursday at Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac, about 25 miles northwest of Madison. The lift was operating normally until it stopped and reversed direction.
Dozens of skiers jumped off the lift, some falling more than 20 feet, to avoid smashing into a wall at the bottom. Eventually the lift was stopped and resort employees and rescue workers spent more than two hours getting skiers down, he said.
Seven skiers were treated at Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in Prairie Du Sac. Six had “muscular skeletal” pains and were released, and one person broke their ankle and was expected to be released Friday, a hospital spokesman reported. Seven others were treated at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, where six were treated and released, and one was treated for undisclosed injuries but was in stable condition.