Alpine Coaster Staff Found Guilty

  26.07.2015 Archiv


Photo: ZvG


Glacier 3000 inaugurated its dramatic Alpine Coaster thrill ride eight years ago. Part rollercoaster and part toboggan on rails, the 1,000-metre journey features ten curves, a 520-degree spiral curve, three jumps, and two bridges. Thrills led to tragedy in 2008, just a year after its opening, when a Canadian tourist died after riding the coaster.

In late June 2015, the two men responsible for the ride’s malfunction finally went before the court. The manager of the coaster’s technical security, received 30 days’ suspended sentence fined at CHF 50 each, plus an additional fine of CHF 400. The other employee also received 30 days’ suspended sentence and a fine of CHF 200, which is in line with what the prosecution had proposed.

Both men, who remain anonymous due to strict Swiss privacy laws, were found guilty of committing bodily harm by negligence. On 13 July, 2008, the weather was less than ideal–rain, frost, and thick fog obscured sufficient distance vision, leading the victim’s luge to slam into the luge in front of her. Later that day, the Canadian fell into a coma and died shortly thereafter.

The Alpine Coaster forms an integral part of the glacier’s summer attractions; other activities include an expanded network of high-altitude hiking trails, an improved selection of eating anddrinking possibilities and, of course, the snowboard park. Glacier 3000 hopes to boost vacationers in June, July, and August, hence the ride’s welcome addition to the area’s summer offers. It markets itself toward Swiss city slickers seeking
to escape the warming trend of Switzerland’s urban areas and valleys, all in keeping with Gstaad-Saanenland’s overall creep into being a year-round lifestyle resort.

Despite the accident, the Alpine Coaster remains popular with tourists and locals alike. With proper surveillance and conservative speeds, it poses no more threat than other summer mountain sports like hiking and biking.

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