Nathan Hall, 21, of Chico, Calif., was the first person convicted of homicide in Colorado for a ski slope collision. He faced up to six years behind bars.
Hall had just ended his shift as a lift operator at the Vail ski resort on April 20, 1997 and was heading down the slope when he caused a deadly collision that prompted resorts to crack down on speedy skiers.
Hall admits he was skiing too fast when he struck Alan Cobb of Denver. He was convicted of negligent homicide.
"If I wouldn't have been skiing that fast, I probably wouldn't have lost control, and that accident wouldn't have happened," he told Dateline NBC in an interview that aired Tuesday night. "So I got to look at the facts and say, 'Yeah, it was my fault.'"
In the NBC interview, Hall said he remembers losing control and trying to regain it, but doesn't recall the collision itself. He said he thinks of Cobb and his family every day.
"If I could trade my life for his, I honestly would I wish there was more I could do," he said.
But Hall said the collision was an accident and that the criminal charges were unjust.
"I never had any intent or made a conscious decision to endanger the life of another person," Hall said. "If I was aware of those risks, there's no way I would have been skiing that fast."
Since Cobb's death, several major Colorado resorts have clamped down on reckless skiers and snowboarders.
"You're surrounded by safety messages at every single ski resort," says Jim Felton, a spokesman for Breckenridge, the nation's busiest resort for two straight years.
©MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed