Rogue River teen recovering from snowboarding accident
A Rogue River teen is now in recovery, after suffering from a serious snowboarding accident last week. 17-year-old Ashley Drake went snowboarding for the first time on Friday. On her very first run, she tumbled down Mount Ashland, ending up in the emergency room.
"It hurt instantly as soon as I hit the ground, I knew something was wrong but I just kept getting up and going again," Drake said.
With a severe concussion, some memory loss and temporary loss of her motor functions, she said the road to recovery has not been easy.
"I can't do much, even just getting up and walking around, it's been exhausting to me," Drake said.
But through this difficult journey, her family and friends have been with her every step of the way. Drake said she also wants to thank the Mount Ashland Ski Patrol who came to her rescue.
"One of the gentlemen who actually helped me, Johnny, recently just passed away," Drake said. "My prayers go out to his family and his friends."
23-year-old Johnathan Walker passed away over the weekend, just one day after rescuing Drake.
"Believe it or not, as soon as they said his name, I remembered him immediately," Drake said. "It was a lot of shock... he was one of the people that helped me the most."
Drake's boyfriend Evan McFetridge, who was with her at the time of the fall, said people should stick to the marked routes of the mountain.
"Along with being able to find you, there's just a lot of trees in the back country," McFetridge said. "I've kind of been back there and it's not a very safe like, like how Johnny, passed away in the tree well."
McFetridge said others who are heading skiing or snowboarding should always put their safety first.
"Just wear your helmet and don't do anything you're not prepared for, like the first time going snowboarding... don't try doing anything crazy," McFetridge said.
Drake and her family now want others to learn from her experience. She said no one should go out on the mountain alone and guests should aware of their surroundings.