British Columbia

Father makes emotional appeal after son's brain punctured by skier

The father of a 13-year-old North Vancouver skier who suffered a serious brain injury on Grouse Mountain makes an emotional appeal for the person responsible to come forward.

Unidentified man thrust his ski pole at teen's head, leaving him seriously injured

David Keir points to the location where the pole punctured his son's skull. 'There were bone fragments and a pool of blood in his brain,' he said. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The father of a 13-year-old North Vancouver skier who suffered a serious brain injury on Grouse Mountain made an emotional appeal on Wednesday for the person responsible to come forward.

David Keir says on the evening of March 30 his son Max and an unidentified man in a yellow ski jacket swerved to avoid each other while skiing down a run called The Cut. He says the man thrust a ski pole at the boy's head with sufficient force to puncture his brain.

"The CT scan revealed a bullet-size hole above the temporal bone," said Keir.

"It went through his skin, through the bone, through the brain membrane and into the right temporal lobe." 

Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP holds up a photo of 13-year-old Max Keir, who suffered a serious brain injury on Grouse Mountain in March after a run-in with another skier. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Keir was speaking at a news conference organized by the North Vancouver RCMP who say they have exhausted all their leads.

"We don't know if it was intentional or accidental," said Sgt. Peter DeVries. "We need new information to progress the investigation."

Max, 13, suffered a serious brain injury on Grouse Mountain in March after a man thrust a ski pole at his head. (Submitted)

Keir says Max was initially treated by ski patrol and then received stitches in an emergency room for the deep laceration.

But later that same evening he became dazed, confused and started vomiting. He was rushed back to hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery.

"There were bone fragments and a pool of blood in his brain," said Keir. "When doctors showed me that image, you freak out as a parent." 

Eight weeks later, Keir says his son is slowly recovering and just beginning to return to school for an hour a day.

He contends the incident was not accidental because Max reported that the man threw his ski pole at him.

"Someone is out there with big time anger issues," said Keir. "Maybe that person will do the right thing and come forward or, at the very least, get some help."

North Vancouver RCMP are still appealing for witnesses. They're especially interested in speaking with an unidentified woman who helped Max with his wound at the bottom of the ski run.

Anyone with information or video is asked to contact Const. Yushi Ebisawa with North Vancouver RCMP at 604-969-7345, or by email at yushi.ebisawa@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

At the time, Max was wearing a white Adidas brand hooded sweatshirt, a dark blue tuque and tan-coloured ski pants.

The boy and man nearly collided while skiing on a run called The Cut. (North Vancouver RCMP)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.