Natasha Richardson, R.I.P.

What an awful story, especially for Liam Neeson and their children:

Actress Natasha Richardson has died after a fall on a Canadian ski slope Monday.
News of Richardson’s death came Wednesday evening via press release “from Liam Neeson and family” sent out by a spokesman for Neeson, Richardson’s husband, after she was transferred to a New York City hospital, where her relatives rushed to her side.
“Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” the statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
The Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec, where the 45-year-old actress was skiing Monday, released the following statement regarding her accident:
“Natasha Richardson fell in a beginners trail while taking a ski lesson at Station Mont Tremblant,” the statement said. “She was accompanied by an experienced ski instructor who immediately called the ski patrol. She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor.
“As an additional precautionary measure, the ski instructor as well as the ski patrol accompanied Mrs. Richardson to her hotel,” the statement continued. “They again recommended she should be seen by a doctor. The ski instructor stayed with her at her hotel. Approximately an hour after the incident Mrs. Richardson was not feeling good. An ambulance was called and Mrs. Richardson was brought to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe and was later transferred to Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur.”
A spokesperson for the resort noted Richardson was not wearing a helmet while skiing and didn’t collide with anything when she fell.

When I lived in Corner Brook, I fell while skiing at Marble Mountain dozens of times, and came out with nary a scratch. You just never know when your time comes, do you?
Damian P.

13 thoughts on “Natasha Richardson, R.I.P.

  1. The Hammer of Thor says:

    I’m wondering how and what she hit her head on, in any case this definitely can be classed as one of those “freak” accidents.
    When I started skiing as a teenager, there were no helmet’s, period, and you rarely heard of people even getting hurt, let alone killed. In fact, I can recall no incidents at all.
    Of course now the inevitable calls for mandatory helmets will be on the forefront, and I still don’t agree with them.
    Having worked in a very hazardous industry for years and coming within 1/2 a hair’s width of certain death a few times, I still believe when your number is up, its up. Period.

  2. fernstalbert says:

    Everytime this story was played on the news yesterday, the comments were that helments should be a factor in ski gear. This does not necessarily prevent all head injuries but its a start. On a slightly different note, I wonder if she had a prexisting condition and the fall accelerated the process. My sympathies to her hursband, children and family.

  3. Damian P. says:

    They say Christopher Reeve would have died instantly had he fallen just a few inches further in one direction – and would have walked away unharmed had he fallen a few inches in the other direction.

  4. mark says:

    When do the sports media begin their calls to ban skiing on the basis than someone died while doing it? Seems like they just did it for fighting in hockey.

  5. Bruce Rheinstein says:

    “When I started skiing as a teenager, there were no helmet’s, period, and you rarely heard of people even getting hurt, let alone killed. In fact, I can recall no incidents at all.”
    I don’t know where you skied, but I started as a kid and I’ve seen some spectacular injuries, although fortunately no one killed. Oddly, these are usually on beginner or intermediate slopes. I wear a helmet because I’ve seen what happens to people who don’t.

  6. John B says:

    It’s a miracle I survived childhood and adolescence. Downhill skiing without a helmet, bike riding the same, canoeing without wearing a lifejacket. A miracle. Funny thing, I can’t remember a single friend or schoolmate ever suffering a serious injury. Now I can hear the “if even one life is saved brigade” coming – don’t leave home without your helmet, lifejacket and safety shoes on! One can’t be too cautious.

  7. John B says:

    Michel Trudeau?
    He was swept into a lake in the Rockies by an avalanche where he presumably drowned (his body was never recovered). Life jackets for skiers perhaps?

  8. Bruce Rheinstein says:

    Avalanches don’t count? I thought your point was that no one gets hurt.
    Anyway, according to, there were “37 skier and snowboarder deaths in the U.S. in 2002/03.”
    Ski helmets are not mandatory, but I have no desire to go through life suffering from brain trauma, so I wear a helmet when skiing, bike or motorcycle riding, and playing hockey. The nuisance is minor and the potential loss is great.

  9. Bruce Rheinstein says:

    I doubt that moguls are a significant source of skiing deaths. Running into things at high speed is. For example, there are more than 70,000 accidents annually on Swiss slopes and the Swiss have taken to introducing speed limits.
    “Last year [2007] there were more than 70,000 accidents on Swiss ski slopes, many resulting in serious injuries and deaths. Swiss helicopter rescue teams were called out for serious accidents 300 times in December alone, and the total cost of rescue operations is expected to exceed £100 million.” [External Link]
    I like to go fast and ski challenging trails, but I don’t want to lose a few dozen IQ points by running into something. But then there’s something to be said for funky ski caps and allowing evolution to work its course.

  10. John P. says:

    I’ve been an avid skier since about the age of 5. Yet,I fell and BROKE my right leg in the small park right beside my house when I was 10. The park’s incline was very slight and yet I lost my balance while going all of 2 MPH and the fall snapped my tibia.
    And yet, by the time I was 10, I,d already been skiing down steep hills at breakneck speed without any incident, not even a slight sprain.
    I’ve never worn a helmet either.
    Helps explain the numerous dents in my skull!

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