Reckless skiing case results in no contest plea
June 25, 2010
A Salt Lake City man in May pleaded no contest to a reckless skiing charge connected to a case stemming from an accident on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort during the last ski season.
The plea entered by Ishaq Alhammadi, who is 22 years old, will be held in abeyance for 12 months, meaning that the charge will be dismissed if he complies with Judge Shauna Kerr’s terms.
Kerr ordered Alhammadi to pay a $595 fee attached to the plea in abeyance and to pay restitution of up to $750 to the injured skier, according to a Summit County Justice Court clerk. He was also told not to break laws during the 12-month term of the plea in abeyance.
Reckless skiing is a class B misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction. It is the same level of offense as a typical drunken driving charge.
The accident occurred late in the ski day at PCMR on Feb. 14, and the Park City Police Department received a complaint a month later. The police said at the time an 11-year-old Pennsylvania girl was skiing with her father on the Home Run trail, a popular beginner-rated trail.
Alhammadi reportedly was skiing at a high rate of speed, fell and slid approximately 30 feet before hitting the girl. The impact sent her into the air and she broke an arm in the fall, the Police Department said in March, after the girl’s father contacted the police indicating he wanted to press charges.
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It is believed the case was the first prosecutors filed under City Hall’s reckless skiing law, which dates to 2008. A City Hall attorney at the time said a 2006 accident at Deer Valley Resort prompted discussion about a reckless skiing law. The annexation of skiing terrain into the Park City limits was also a factor in the law’s creation.
Mountain resorts in recent years have stressed safety on the slopes more than they had in earlier decades, creating slow-skiing areas among the measures they have taken.
Alhammadi’s attorney, Thomas Howard, said restitution will be $650. He said Alhammadi had only skied once before the day of the accident and was upset that he caused the injuries.
"It was a very unfortunate case," Howard said.