Skier sought after teen left with 'bullet-sized' hole in skull on Grouse
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 10:44AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2019 3:53PM PDT
The family of a 13-year-old boy who suffered a serious head injury after being struck by a ski pole on Grouse Mountain is asking the person involved to come forward.
The teenager, named Max, was out on a run called "The Cut" on March 30 when he crossed paths with another skier, believed to be an adult man.
North Vancouver RCMP said the boy was somehow hit on the head by the man's ski pole – with enough force to puncture Max's temporal bone and leave a wound about three centimetres deep.
"The youth swerved to avoid another skier," Sgt. Peter Devries said. "The man struck the youth with his ski pole. We've been unable to gather any evidence whether this was intentional or accidental."
Max managed to make it the rest of the way down the hill before realizing he was hurt, but his father, David Keir, said troubling signs started emerging shortly after.
"He was dazed, he was confused, he was agitated, he was vomiting repeatedly," Keir said at an RCMP news conference Wednesday. "You freak out as a parent."
A CT scan eventually revealed a "bullet-sized" hole in Max's skull, Keir said.
Max ultimately spent four days in intensive care, and narrowly avoided emergency brain surgery. Nearly two months later, his family said he's still at the start of a long recovery.
"He's been able to return to school for an hour or two a day," Keir said. "The return to sport, the return to play is some time away – maybe nine months, maybe 12 months. It'll require a neurosurgeon's clearance."
Keir would not comment on whether he believes the man struck his son intentionally, but said Max's description was that "he threw his pole" at him.
"Someone's out there who has some big time anger issues. Someone's out there who needs some help," Keir said.
North Vancouver RCMP said the only descriptive detail available is that the man was wearing a yellow ski jacket. Devries urged the man to reach out and give his version of what happened.
"We won't know that until we identify the person involved and are able to speak with that person," he said.
"We want to appeal to that person to come forward and let us know what happened, tell us from their perspective what this incident involved so we can make some informed decisions."
The boy wasn't wearing a helmet at the time, Devries said, but usually does as part of a "family policy."
Investigators are also hoping to speak to potential witnesses, as the incident took place in view of the ski lift. They also would like to speak to a woman who helped Max after he reached the bottom of the hill.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Emad Agahi