Two via ferrata trips to Austria, organized by Dalibor Urban from České Budějovice, through his company Happy Bus, ended in the death of two young women. At the District Court of České Budějovice, he therefore confessed to double manslaughter due to negligence. Jan Linhart from Český Krumlov is on trial together with him. Dalibor Urban, as his friend from trips to the mountains, commissioned him to lead the Wildfrauensteig hike in his place, even though he is a person without any professional authorization.
Dalibor Urban (second from left) and Jan Linhart (right) at the District Court of České Budějovice.
| Photo: Deník/Zuzana Gabajová
In the first case, on a tour in July 2019, twenty-four-year-old Dagmar died while descending from the Wildfrauensteig via ferrata on an unsecured footpath near the top of the Bosruck mountain. She had no problems with the via ferrata, she slipped on the wet and slippery surface and tumbled down the slope.
The Budějovice Court has started hearing the tragic case of the death of two women in the Alps
Jan Linhart went to the mountains with a group of more than twenty people. He even got paid for it. “Dalibor Urban knowingly did not secure a certified leader, moreover, he did not evaluate the weather forecast when the occurrence of thunderstorms in the area was reported,” state attorney Libuše Zemanová described in the indictment. He also broke the rules by significantly exceeding the limit number of participants. “The maximum number is six guided persons per one certified mountain guide, which Jan Linhart was not.”
Ferrata Drachenwand in the Salzkammergut-Berge. Source: Diary/Zuzana Gabajová
As for Jan Linhart, according to the plaintiff, despite knowing that he is completely incompetent and has no authorization to act as a mountain guide, he accepted the position of tour leader. “He did not evaluate the weather, even though storms were predicted, he did not discuss it with Dalibor Urban remotely, he did not check the current weather and he completely ignored the warnings of locals and tourists not to enter the via ferrata due to approaching storms,” the prosecutor summarized.
In the second case, also during the descent, this time from the via ferrata Drachenwand, twenty-five-year-old Radka died. This happened in August 2020 and the expedition was led by Dalibor Urban himself. There were too many people in this expedition too, over 15. It became clear from the very beginning that Radka would have difficulties with the via ferrata. “He did not inform the victim sufficiently about the difficulty of the journey, the weather was very warm and there was a risk of dehydration, he included her in the ascent, although he discovered that she was not experienced enough and had completely inappropriate footwear,” listed Libuše Zemanová. Furthermore, he did not pay enough attention to her condition during the ascent, even though the others repeatedly warned him that she was unable to continue without the help of others, and he did not return her from the journey. An exhausted Radka fell during the descent and tumbled off the rock.
How did the accused defend themselves in court? And what did forensic expert, experienced mountain guide and climbing and skiing instructor Karel Kříž say about the accident? We are preparing other articles on the topic.
In the first point of the indictment, that is, that he sent the unqualified Jan Linhart to the mountains for him, Dalibor Urban made a so-called declaration of guilt for the first act, that is, he confessed, and the judge said that she would accept his declaration of guilt and decide on the amount of punishment and the amount of damages. He didn’t have to talk about the case in which Jan Linhart was involved, he waived his right to testify in the main trial.
In court, he then described what happened on Drachenwand, where he was a mountain guide. His girlfriend at the time, Kateřina, helped him with clients, but she does not have the expertise of a mountain guide. He denied that it was unbearably hot, as stated in the indictment, according to him, the weather was ideal for the ascent, over 25 degrees. And only on the spot did he find out that Radka had never been on any via ferrata. He had to secure her with a rope for a considerable part of the journey, but he gave her assurance that she would manage everything. According to him, she had a steady gait during the descent and there was no indication that anyone should have helped her. She slipped and fell by accident.
Young women died in the mountains. A careless guide from Budějovice is to blame for them
The survivors are demanding compensation in the order of millions of crowns. The defendants did not agree on its amount with them through the proxy, so the court will decide. Dalibor Urban faces a prison sentence of up to six years, Jan Linhart half.