Gondola Tumble a Scary Experience for Family


Duluth, MN, Aug. 15-- It was a rocky ride for a family trapped in one of the cars involved in the August 9 gondola accident at Lutsen Mountains. According to an article in the Duluth News Tribune by Mark Niesse, a family of four recounted their tail.

As the gondola car took off from the base of the mountain, there was a big thump, said Lisa Eckes, 23, of Sherwood, Wisconsin, one four family members in the car. "We kind of jolted, like we were off the track. They stopped us and looked up." Then the eight-minute, mile-long climb continued.

They were near the top when they heard a 'click.' The car went flying backwards down the cable for about 100 feet, as the four family members braced themselves. Their car hit the car behind, sending glass flying. Eckes said their car fell 15 feet to a grassy area below.

They all crawled out of the car, except for Lisa's mother, Alice, whose leg hurt too much to move. Lisa, her father and her boyfriend then tried to help the victims in the second car, but one occupant, Joel Krumm, remained in the car too high to reach.

Eventually, mountain rescue workers evacuated the injured to nearby hospitals. As of August 15, Alice Eckes, who sustained a broken leg and tailbone was listed as 'great and recovering.' Joel Krumm, who suffered head and chest injuries, remained in intensive care. The day after the accident, Lisa felt fortunate to have escaped serious injury. "I think we're incredibly lucky," she said.