Skier on long road to recovery after collision with hit-and-run snowboarder

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KEYSTONE, Colo. -- A Keystone skier continues on her long road to recovery as investigators look for the snowboarder who they say hit her and took off.

Jenny Elma broke her leg in two places. She underwent a surgery in which doctors put 13 screws in her leg. The recovery will take at least six months.

"I don’t want terrible things to happen to him but just make him understand how awful this could be for someone just because he wants to have a little bit of fun. It’s not fair," Elma said.

Elma said she was going down Haywood Run at Keystone on Jan. 2 at the end of the day when a snowboarder crashed into her from behind. Elma said the snowboarder caught some air and was airborne when he hit her.

"It hit me out of no where. I had no idea. All of a sudden it’s like bam. I watch my leg go out to the left. I’m like whoa, it’s not supposed to go that way," Elma said.

Investigators are looking for the snowboarder who was wearing a black RuRoc full face mask with red detailing. The Summit County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, hoping to crack the case.

Under Colorado law, skiers and snowboarders involved in crashes resulting in injuries are required to stay on scene and give information to ski patrol or resort workers.

"The whole time I kept seeing him inch a little bit further, a little bit further, a little bit further. We were literally 100 yards from the end of the run so he just had to take a left and go and that’s what he did," Elma said.

The sheriff's office said officers investigate half a dozen cases like this each ski season. He said it's difficult to find the culprits.

"The biggest challenge is so much of the ski gear looks alike. And obviously on cold days, people are covered up literally with goggles from head to toe that you can’t see through so it makes it really hard to identify people," Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.

Elma hopes the snowboarder or witnesses come forward.

"I think he would feel very differently if this happened to his brother or his sister or his mother," Elma said.

The snowboarder could face a misdemeanor for leaving the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Summit County Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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