Fellow skier recalls incident
by Clay Neely - firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Fisher was among those Sunday skiing with Mitchell prior to his accident.
“Sunday was a blue bird day,” said Fisher. “It was sunny and warm and the conditions were perfect.”
“Although Mitchell was a beginner skier, it was obvious he had a natural aptitude for it and he kept up with the three of us,” Fisher said.
Around noon, the group made plans to meet at the bottom of the runs and take a break.
“We had been skiing groomed blue runs all morning and Mitchell was skiing so well that we all commented that we couldn't believe he was a beginner,” Fisher said.
Once the group arrived at the bottom, they waited for about five minutes for Mitchell, looking both on the hill for him and in the crowd.
“Then we saw Ski Patrol go up the run on a snowmobile carrying a stretcher and it was very disconcerting,” Fisher said. “My friend and I went up the lift to ski back down the run that Mitchell had been on and when we reached the top of the lift, I heard a helicopter. I had a terrible feeling that it was a Flight for Life helicopter and that it was for Mitchell.”
The group had skied half-way down the run when they saw the Ski Patrol in the woods. They were instructed by the patrol to go to the bottom, where they would be told what was happening.
“I cannot commend the Keystone Ski Patrol enough; they were incredibly responsive and professional,” Fisher said.
Fisher went to the hospital on Monday to see Mitchell and meet his parents.
“I didn't know Mitchell before yesterday; I'm friends with one of the guys he came with to Colorado. His parents were obviously exhausted, both physically and emotionally, but his mom was incredibly kind and gracious,” said Fisher. “She mentioned all the support from Coweta and how thankful they were for it.”
While Fisher was wearing a helmet on Sunday, she says that after this experience, she will be vigilant that everyone she skis with in the future will be wearing one.
Mitchell was not wearing a helmet. “It was my absolute pleasure to meet Mitchell and I still can't grasp the magnitude of what happened,” Fisher said.