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One killed in chair lift failure at Lake Freeman

One person is dead and three others are critically injured after a private chair lift collapsed and fell down a steep embankment into Lake Freeman.

Posted: Jun. 1, 2018 10:07 PM
Updated: Jun. 3, 2018 3:58 PM

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) -- One person is dead and three others are critically injured after a private chair lift collapsed and fell down a steep embankment into Lake Freeman.

It happened around 7 p.m. Friday on Stone Drive.

According to the White County Sheriff's Office, the preliminary investigation indicates that the lift device began to accelerate rapidly
downward toward the lake for an unknown reason. The sheriff's office said the lift eventually came to rest at the bottom of the hill and crashed into a boat dock. 

The lift was carrying four people:

Angela Elder, age 54 of Lafayette, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ernie Elder Jr., age 62 of Lafayette, Indiana was initially taken to IU Health White Memorial Hospital by
ambulance and later flown to IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette.

Kris Klink, age 59 of Monticello was initially taken to IU Health White Memorial Hospital by ambulance and
later flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Tyra Klink, age 57 of Monticello was initially taken to IU Health White Memorial Hospital by ambulance and
later flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Due to the complexity of the rescue, troopers said multiple agencies were called out to help. That includes several fire departments and Indiana Conservation Officers.

Neighbors even rushed in to help.

"We had to pull the people up manually with a line because they needed help, the firemen. And you know, most of them were pretty bad. I can't believe how bad it was," said John Reilly.

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