Authorities ID woman who died in chairlift collapse; 3 others injured

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WISH/WLFI) – Authorities have identified the person who died Friday night when a chairlift collapsed and fell down a steep embankment into Lake Freeman. 

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

The White County Sheriff’s Department said all four people were in the chairlift around 7 p.m. Friday on Stone Drive when it began to accelerate rapidly down toward the lake, eventually crashing into the boat dock. 

Monticello Fire Department Assistant Chief Craig Green said the three survivors were flown to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries.

Ernie Elder Jr., 62, of Lafayette, Tyra Klink, 57 and Kris Klink, 59, both of Monticello, were initially taken to IU Health White Memorial Hospital. Elder was later taken by helicopter to IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, while both Tyra and Kris Klink were taken by helicopter to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Several homes along the lake have steep drops to the shoreline and people use chairlifts to get to and from boats and docks. Due to the complexity of the rescue, Green said, several fire departments and Indiana conservation officers were called to help. 

Lake Freeman is located about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.