Manslaughter Investigation in Tito Traversa Death

A quickdraw assembled incorrectly, in a manner similar to the quickdraws used by Tito Traversa in his fatal accident.

A quickdraw assembled incorrectly, in a manner similar to the quickdraws used by Tito Traversa in his fatal accident.

8/26/13 - According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, authorities have named five manslaughter suspects in an investigation into the death of 12-year-old Tito Traversa. The young climber died in early July when eight improperly assembled quickdraws failed as he was lowering off a warm-up route in France.

The prosecutor entered into the docket five people: the owner of the Italian company that produced the rubber "keepers" designed to keep carabiners from flipping out of position on quickdraws; the store that sold the quickdraws; the manager of the club that organized the trip during which Traversa was killed; and two instructors who were working with the group at the cliff in Orpierre, France. The newspaper also reported that the prosecutor is still investigating a relative of the girl who loaned the incorrectly assembled quickdraws to Traversa.

Last week, the same newspaper reported that the prosecutor in Turin, Italy, had opened a criminal investigation after Traversa's father filed a formal complaint.

French authorities earlier concluded that eight of the ten quickdraws Traversa borrowed had been assembled incorrectly, so that carabiners were threaded only through the rubber "keeper" and not through the full-strength sewn loop at the ends of the quickdraws.

Source: La Repubblica


We are debating it now..... We are all responsible as climbers to check our gear before climbing. As a minor it was his minders job too check his gear. RIP Tito... Ray and Wend.

raythetree - 10/30/2013 1:16:33

We are debating it now..... We are all responsible as climbers to check our gear before climbing. As a minor it was his minders job too check his gear. RIP Tito... Ray and Wend.

raythetree - 10/30/2013 1:16:33

The kid was 12 years old. He probably had to be told to brush his teeth at night. Why is he at fault? If anything, the parents share in some of the blame, along with the instructor/manager and belayer of the climb that day, not the manufacturer.

GP - 10/20/2013 2:02:22

This is why trad style is the best. you take your own gear up the route & clip the bolts or place the gear and you are responsible for your safety. Too many youing hot hots are good at making moves but unsafe at any rating when it comes to gear.

craig - 09/01/2013 8:49:30

Here is how i see all the charges Even though the manufacturer cannot prevent stupidity they are required to provide proper instruction with all gear for assembly and maintenance to help prevent these kinds of incidents. Think about this situation if Ikea sold beds with no assembly instructions and someone assembled a bed wrong and as a result caused injury/death should ikea not be liable for not providing proper instruction? It would be really hard to argue negligence by the store it is much more likely that the store owner would be found guilty of providing incorrect information by telling people that it was meant to be used in that way. Another possible situation is the store could have sponsored the event and provided the gear and even installed the gear on the route. Seeing as it was an organised event the club manager has to prove due diligence that he had competent organisers for installing the drawings on the route. I am assuming that all the draws where already set-up on the route in which case i would not expect anyone to inspect the draws from the ground before sending. Think about it when was the last time you check all the draws on a route at the gym. The instructors in my opinion(without knowing all the facts) are the most liable as they most likely are the actual people who put the draws on the route and were responsible to inspecting all the club gear before use.

Adam - 08/29/2013 10:15:57

If the manufacturer were made liable for this mistake, I would lose even more of what little confidence I have in the reasonableness of the judicial system. It's basic common sense that a tiny rubber ring is not load bearing. Companies can not and should not be responsible for preventing idiocy on the part of the consumer. It's the fault of whoever assembled the gear, the boy's instructors on the scene that day, and I think to a lesser extent because of his age, the boy as well. Yes, he was only 12, but if he's climbing 5.14, he knows his gear and knows the importance of double-checking it. Sorry to say. RIP.

Z - 08/28/2013 10:30:04

This comment thread is proof that 65% of climbers have really low IQ's.... What a tragedy, RIP Tito.

AtYourMomsHouseRightNow - 08/28/2013 9:26:04

"Exactly, its not the store owners, the salesman or the manufactures' fault for this tragic incident." Depends on who assembled the quickdraws. You cannot judge without knowing the details.

PMG - 08/27/2013 2:02:11

It could have happened to any one of us at any age with decades of experience.

Mark Howe - 08/26/2013 9:17:33

"We have to hold people accountable and thus learn to take the responsibility very, very seriously when someone's life is in your hands" @wirednut, What about the responsibility you have taking you're own life in your own hands? The kid was climbing at a 5.14 level he should have known how a draw should be assembled and to check his gear properly before leaving the ground. It is the climbers responsibility to check their gear before leaving the ground and the belayers to double check. So if any one should feel accountable for this young mans death it should be whoever taught him, or didn't teach him, how to properly climb. Either way the climbing world lost a bright young star whose potential will never be known.

Gordo - 08/26/2013 4:25:54

Did anybody actually read the article? This has nothing to do with the united states. The manufacturers should have encountered this during testing. The company will have to prove that it took steps to prevent this. I dont think it should be up to the consumer to question the safety of the gear and guess if it is properly assembled.

yup - 08/26/2013 4:23:54

I think that every item that I have bought had the words CLIMBING IS INHERENTLY DANGEROUS. With that said it is a sad day for all when this kind of thing happens. The sorry fact the people that had the true responsibility are the ones that suffered the most. This is a fact of life bad good or indifferent. What I see is people becoming more willing to blame others instead of being able to say that this is my fault .No matter what it will never bring that child back. Just should never make money from a accident that cost so much.

beal - 08/26/2013 4:23:21

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