‘Fractured Everywhere’: Victim In Skiing Hit & Run Seriously Injured

By Matt Kroschel

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)– Before being hit while skiing at Vail Resorts last week, Patricia Koenig didn’t need help getting out of bed. But now she can’t do it on her own.

After days in a Vail hospital following the collision, she continues to suffer in excruciating pain.

Patricia Koenig (credit: CBS)

Patricia Koenig (credit: CBS)

“I’m fractured everywhere. It’s going to take a long time to heal,” said Koenig.

She must undergo physical therapy for the simplest of actions. The person who hit her skied away without even stopping to check whether she was injured.

Koenig was victim of a skiing hit-and-run just before noon on Feb. 12.

She joins a growing group of people this season at ski slopes across the state who are victims of hit-and-run collisions.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The one involving Koenig occurred around 11:40 a.m. on Vail Mountain in the Game Creek Bowl area just below Chair 7.

“I was below the snow skiing swing on Chair 7. I looked left and right I saw which side my family was going and I was ready to take off and that’s the last thing I remember. The doctors feel he came directly from the back because of my injuries,” said Koenig.

A description of the hit-and-run suspect remains unknown because the collision was not witnessed by Koenig or the family. The collision has left her with serious injuries including a concussion and multiple fractures.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I don’t know how someone can just walk away when someone is screaming, when you know you’ve hit that person,” said Koenig.

Koenig has a long road to recovery ahead of her and remains at an assisted living center while she goes through physical therapy treatment.

Since there is no security footage or even an accurate description of the suspect, investigators are hoping someone who saw what happened will talk to investigators.

Anyone who witnessed what happened, even if the detail seems minor, is asked to call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, submit your tip online at www.tipsubmit.com, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES (274637).  If your tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, you could earn up to a $1,500 reward from the Crime Stoppers.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Dear Patricia, I don’t know you but a mutual friend directed me to this news story about your terrible ski accident at Vail. I have been thinking about your story because it easily could have been me, and might well happen to me in the future if my luck runs out. I am about the same age as you and like you, I used to be a ski instructor. I have had a couple of very close calls this winter, two that come to mind immediately. One occurred at Crystal Mountain, Washington, and the other at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. In the first case, our party witnessed the event and notified the ski patrol who detained the young man and pulled his ticket. He passed me within a few feet going at least 45-50 miles an hour and he would have killed me if I had happened to deviate from my consistently linked turns down the fall line. His excuse: “I like to ski fast”. In the second case, at Mt. Bachelor last month, I was skiing among the trees on a gentle slope when I lost one ski. I managed to maintain my balance on the remaining ski for a few more yards until I was able to stop beside a small tree. I was just starting to turn around to retrieve my other ski in the deep snow when a young man came out of nowhere, skiing at very high speed through these same trees, and he passed within inches of me. He may not have seen me, but I think he must have. Our party yelled at him but he declined to stop. In any case, he was skiing extremely recklessly, without a clear view down the hill. Had he hit me, I would have sustained similar, serious injuries as you have, I am sure. These types of incidents do seem to be more prevalent now, and have definitely hampered my enjoyment of skiing, which is a sport I began when I was 6 years old. My best wishes to you for your recovery – and I wish this problem could be addressed. It seems that people, especially young people, are unaware of the old Skier’s Responsibility Code that we were taught.

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