85-year-old skier dies after fall at Beaver Creek
EAGLE COUNTY — After being rushed off the mountain at Beaver Creek, skier Rita Lewis died on Wednesday, the Eagle County coroner has confirmed.
Lewis was taken to Vail Health hospital. She was 85.
She is survived by her loving husband Ken Lewis, her three children Adam, Bret and Beth, and many grandchildren.
She had retired to Arrowhead with her husband Ken Lewis approximately six years ago after regularly visiting Beaver Creek with her family since the children were little.
She was an accomplished skier and loved skiing and living in the Beaver Creek Community.
Rita’s son Bret offered the following information about the incident that occurred Wednesday:
“On the day of her death she was skiing on Sawdust a slope on which she had skied thousands of time before without incident. The conditions were apparently ideal. She had skied ahead of her husband who found her on the slope unconscious after which she was rushed to the hospital by ski patrol. Doctors say she had broken her neck and was probably brain dead due to the heart attack she suffered from the fracture. Were additional medical efforts taken the best she had to look forward to was living as a quadraplegic and severe brain damage. In accordance with her wishes, it was decided not to attempt further live saving matters and she passed. Her skin was the only organ that could be damaged and was donated in accordance with her prior wishes. All things considered, it appears that the incident was an unfortunate accident as no other cause can be determined. Her family takes comfort in knowing that she died doing something she loved and that the last thing she saw was the beautiful mountain here. She was in all other respects in excellent health and expected to live at least until 100 by her grieving family. She was a wonderful mother and was beloved by her grandchildren.”
Rest areas and recreation facilities along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, including boat put-ins, trails and the paved bike path, have been routinely closed to nonpermit public use during flash flood watches.
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