BEAVER CREEK — Authorities are looking for witnesses or any information about a skier-snowboarder collision that happened at Beaver Creek on April 8 at around 3:30 p.m.
The collision took place underneath the Cinch Express Lift near the intersection of the Sheephorn and Centennial runs located just above the Spruce Saddle Lodge. According to the victim, 60-year-old Avon resident Jeffrey Kovacik, an unidentified male snowboarder collided with him. The snowboarder stopped and told Kovacik that he would call for help. He then left the scene and did not wait for ski patrol to arrive. Someone had made an anonymous call to ski patrol to report the accident. Police are working to track down the caller and hopefully gain some information, said Jessie Mosher, of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Beaver Creek Ski Patrol responded and provided emergency rescue aid before Kovacik was transported to a Denver-area hospital.
Kovacik’s friend and neighbor, Buz Didier, provided additional information on the accident, adding that friends and family hope someone will come forward with information on the incident.
According to Didier, Kovacik underwent neck surgery and is currently paralyzed from the neck down from the operation. Doctors said they expect some recovery, although they are not sure to what extent. He also suffered bleeding in the brain and a collapsed lung. He described the snowboarder who hit him as around 25 with long, scraggly brown hair and of medium build.
“It’s going to be a very rough recovery,” said Didier. “There weren’t that many people up there at the time. Maybe somebody saw something, or this guy has a friend who has a conscience, or maybe he’ll grow up and come forward.”
The Colorado Ski Safety Act requires that all skiers control their speed and course, maintain a proper lookout so as to be able to avoid other skiers and, in the event of a collision, to remain at the scene and provide his or her name and address to an employee of the ski area. By failing to do so, you could open yourself up to criminal charges, said Mosher.
If you think you may have any information about the suspects or this crime, call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007 or 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 $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and firstname.lastname@example.org.