Snowboarder declared brain dead after fall at Keystone |

Snowboarder declared brain dead after fall at Keystone

Ryan Slabaugh
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

KEYSTONE, Colo. ” It seemed like a normal snowboarding crash to the friends of Jennifer Ash, a 28-year-old Indianapolis woman who fell at Keystone on March 16.

Seven days later, her friends learned it was anything but when Ash died in a Denver hospital.

According to Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson, Ash’s friends took her to the Summit Medical Center near Frisco after the Sunday evening crash. There, she was evaluated by doctors and rushed to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver.

In Denver, doctors discovered her injuries were much worse than expected. She had fallen on her buttocks, which created a “shockwave” up her spine and caused a stroke. On March 23, Ash was pronounced brain dead.

The rarity of such accidents led local authorities to hesitate in releasing information about the incident immediately, Richardson said.

“This is the first for me that I can recall,” Richardson said. “A stroke caused by an accident happens more in cars. But after I talked to all the neurologists, they said this is exactly what happened.”

The skier death, the county’s seventh, ties the record in Summit County set in 2002.

According to the Martinsville Reporter-Times, Ash was born June 27, 1979, in Indianapolis. She taught at Rutgers University in New Jersey for two years. Most recently, she was a professor at Butler University in Indianapolis and worked as a clinical pharmacist at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

She graduated from Mooresville High School in 1997 and earned her doctorate in pharmacology from Butler University in 2003. While a student at Butler, she was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority.