VAIL, Colo. — Brayden Head, 10, was out on Vail Mountain on Saturday with his Ski & Snowboard Club Vail coach and some teammates preparing for a big mountain competition coming up on Wednesday. They were on their final run of the day in Blue Sky Basin and had just come down Lover’s Leap, mindfully crossing the intersections as they made their way down the mountain, his coach said.
“I just turned around and hear screaming,” said Brayden’s coach, Hunter Whiting, adding it was a painful scream to hear. “And it’s Brayden on the ground like 8 feet away from his skis.”
Whiting said a snowboarder hit Brayden so hard he ejected from his skis, and one of those skis is completely ruined from the collision. Brayden endured the long journey from Blue Sky Basin to the hospital unknowingly with a broken bone in his shoulder and a bloodied face. Whiting said Brayden turned as the snowboarder came toward him and took the brunt of the collision in his shoulder.
After hours in the hospital and expert care, Brayden will fully recover, his dad said — but his father wants people to know that it’s not OK to leave the scene of an accident on the mountain, especially when a child is involved.
> Above video: What to do after colliding with another skier.
Whiting said when he looked back up, the snowboarder was close to Brayden as he screamed. Whiting said he asked the snowboarder to hang around until ski patrol showed up or meet them at the bottom.
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