Skico pro sues ‘reckless’ skier |

Skico pro sues ‘reckless’ skier

A ski instructor for the Aspen Skiing Co. filed suit against a man she says collided with her on Aspen Mountain, resulting in permanent injuries.

Aspen resident Joanne M. Johnson filed the negligence suit in Pitkin County District Civil Court on Thursday. She claims she was taking part in a seminar for ski instructors on Aspen Mountain in January 2002 when Jeff Ketcham of Red Wing, Minn., lost control and hit her.

Johnson claims that she was practicing traverse turns on the Dipsy Doodle run, an “easy blue run with occasional ‘slow’ signs posted on it.” She alleges Ketcham was skiing too fast for the conditions and failed to yield to Johnson even though she was the downhill skier.

The suit says that Ketcham yelled, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry” as he collided with her from behind, and that Johnson tumbled down the run with her skis still on. As a result of the collision, Johnson claims that she fractured her right tibia and suffered injuries in her knee that required surgery and rehabilitation.

Johnson also claims that she suffered whiplash, and now endures nausea and headaches, loss of wages, “impairment of earning capacity and impairment of quality of life.”

Johnson was 57 at the time of the crash, employed as both a ski instructor and massage therapist. She claims her ability to work has been impaired since the crash.

The suit alleges Ketcham skied “recklessly, carelessly and negligently through the Dipsy Doodle run,” that he failed “to keep a proper lookout, and failed to ski under control.” Johnson claims Ketcham told the ski patrol that he continued to ski the rest of the day on Aspen Mountain, as he was in town for vacation.

Johnson is asking for damages in an amount to be determined at trial, as well as all court fees and costs.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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