Girl dies skiing at Breck |

Girl dies skiing at Breck

Christine McManus

Two girls from Oklahoma were in unrelated skiing accidents Thursday at Breckenridge Ski Resort. A 17-year-old girl died and a 14-year-old girl was seriously injured. The death is Colorado’s fourth skier fatality of the season.

Seventeen-year-old Clarie Bichalski was visiting Summit County with her family and church group from Broken Arrow, Okla.

Bichalski was skiing alone on Peak 9 in the Gold King Terrain Park, along the intermediate Gold King trail near the C chairlift, reports said.

The skiing accident was not witnessed, but Breckenridge ski patrollers found Bichalski at about 10 a.m. between two rocks and some trees. She was not wearing a helmet.

Flight for Life paramedics transported Bichalski to Swedish Medical Center with multiple facial and skull fractures. Bichalski died on Friday as a result of the injuries. She was an organ donor.

Later in the day, around 3:30 p.m., 14-year-old Melissa Crosby was skiing on the intermediate section of the 4 O’Clock trail at Breckenridge when she hit a tree. She was not wearing a helmet.

Crosby is on spring break with her family, visiting from Erie, Okla. Flight for Life paramedics transported her from the mountain to Swedish Medical Center in Denver. She suffered serious leg and pelvic injuries. With permission from the family, Swedish officials said Crosby is in critical condition and had major pelvic surgery on Friday.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jill Berman said deputies will not be investigating either incident because, “all indications show that this was an accident.”

Bichalski’s tragic accident was the first skier death in Summit County this month. That does not include a man who died of a heart attack on Copper Mountain or a snowmobiler who died in an avalanche earlier this month.

Bichalski is the fourth skier in Colorado this season to die in an in-bounds, trauma related accident, said Colorado Ski Country USA. The other three fatal accidents this winter were at Vail, Copper and Breckenridge.

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