Man Arrested After Skiing Collision

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Breckenridge

Denver, CO (March 3, 2003) AP - A British skier has been arrested on suspicion of assault after a fatal collision with another man at a Colorado ski resort.

Robert Wills, 31, was being held in lieu of $15,000 bail on suspicion of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Officials at the British Consulate in Houston said they were helping Wills arrange his release but did not know his home town.

Prosecutor Mark Hurlburt said Monday he hadn't decided yet whether to file charges in the death, and needed to review the file. An announcement wasn't expected for a day or two.

Deputies said they were told that Wills slammed into Richard Henrichs, 56, of Naperville, Ill., on Sunday at Breckenridge. Henrichs then struck a tree and later died of head injuries.

"It is unclear at this point who had the right of way on the hill," said Jill Berman of the Summit County Sheriff's Department. She said investigators hadn't determined whether speed was an issue.

In late December at Powderhorn Ski Resort, a snowboarder from Oklahoma died after a collision with a 16-year-old Colorado snowboarder. No charges were filed in that case.

So far this season, 13 skiers and snowboarders have died in accidents on Colorado's slopes, compared with a record 16 last season, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.

Breckenridge is owned by Vail Resorts, which cracked down on reckless skiing in 1999 after six deaths at its four Colorado resorts. Two years ago, a Vail Resorts lift operator became the first person sent to jail because of a fatal skiing accident.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press