Collision Ski Accident Injures Vail Ski Instructor

On January 26, 2017, R.F. was skiing with Beaver Creek/Vail Resort ski instructor Jennifer Ellis. Ms. Ellis and R.F. were following two of her grandchildren and another hired instructor down Latigo. This is a groomed blue run, or more difficult run. Latigo turns into Dally, a green or easiest run, which the group descended on. While on Dally, R.F. was blindsided and hit by Mr. Buckley, who was merging onto Dally from a glade on Addy’s, a black diamond or most difficult run.

At the point of collision, R.F. was thrown off her skis, resulting in two summersaults forward landing hard on her right side. The collision was violent. Ms. Ellis was skiing behind R.F. when the collision happened. Ms. Ellis skis behind all her clients to be another set of eyes.

Immediately after the collision, ski patrol was contacted. R.F. was carefully placed into the toboggan and transported off the mountain to the Vail Valley Medical Center at the base of Beaver Creek Ski Area. X-rays determined R.F. suffered a right distal radius intra-articular displaced fracture, a right distal radius intra-articular fracture, and a right distal radioulnar joint dislocation, all to be surgically fixed with an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure.
R.F. additionally sustained a right distal tibia fracture. This was also surgically fixed with an ORIF procedure, described as “intramedullary nailing of right tibia.”

On top of immobility, Mrs. R.F. suffered great pain and discomfort extending past the initial ten weeks post-surgery. She will have a metal rod in her right leg and a metal plate in her right wrist for the rest of her life. Her doctor stated these metal items will likely cause her discomfort for the rest of her life.

R.F. settled for $280,000 in November 2017.