Where can people legally sled in Seattle?
City parks remained open, though many don't have the huge hills that thrill seekers want. Typically when there's at least a foot of snow, Jackson Golf Course at 1000 N.E. 135th St. will open for sledding, as will West Seattle Golf Course - both public courses.
But the golf courses didn't have areas officially open for sledding Monday, spokeswoman Marybeth Turner said from the city's Emergency Operation Center.
"They'll consider it tomorrow morning and make a decision again tomorrow," she said. "It depends on the weather conditions."
Seattle streets are always popular, especially hills such as East Denny Way from Capitol Hill to downtown and the Counterbalance on Queen Anne Avenue. But Seattle police warn that people caught sledding down Seattle streets -- closed or not -- could get a $112 fine, as outlined in section 11.40.250 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
However, in past snowstorms, police haven't given loads of sledding tickets. They urge people to use common sense.
Through Monday afternoon, Seattle medics hadn't responded to a major sledding accident, fire department spokesman Kyle Moore said. However, dispatchers don't have a specific way to categorize sledding accidents as they would car accidents or other medic responses, and historical data shows at least a dozen calls for sledding accidents when Seattle has a major snowfall.
Officials say none of the Seattle sledding cases in the last two years were life-threatening, though sledding injuries in other years have been worse.
The most notable happened on Feb. 2, 1989, when the 12-year-old daughter of former King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng was sledding on an inner tube with two seventh-grade classmates near her Magnolia home.
The girls and other neighborhood kids were going down an icy hill on West McGraw Street -- a street that was closed to traffic that day. It was not on the list of closed Seattle streets Tuesday night.
The inner tube went out of control and slid under a parked car.
All three girls went to a hospital, Karen Maleng with serious head injuries. She was flown to Group Health Hospital and died five hours later.
In three days of February 1989, including the day Karen Maleng died, there were 125 injuries attributed to sledding accidents in the Seattle area. Maleng was one of four fatalities.
"It could have been any of us," 12-year-old friend Michael Magnano told the Seattle P-I at the time.
Karen's death was difficult for Norm Maleng, who died of cardiac arrest in 2007.
His colleague and current King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said at Maleng's funeral he often attributed the little joys in life -- an open parking spot, the seamless press conference -- to his "angel Karen."
"He would say, 'There's nothing that anybody can do to hurt me now,'" Satterberg once recalled Maleng saying. "'I've already had the greatest hurt there is.'"
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