SANTA FE, N.M. (February 22, 2013)—Jacob Gutierrez, 16, of Albuquerque, N.M., said he was sure he would die as he fell 45 feet from a ski lift, straight toward a large rock.
Gutierrez told the Santa Fe New Mexican he was throwing a snowball at a friend in the chair in front of him at Ski Santa Fe when he slipped off.
He caught himself on the armrest, ditched his snowboard and tried to hang on.
Gutierrez said he could see the lift shack at the end before he fell but ran out of strength.
He injured his liver and lungs, had a hairline skull fracture and a gash on his forehead and spent three days intensive care after the fall on Feb. 2.