*The following story has since been updated. A friend of McKiernan’s has since confessed to crashing into the skier in question. Find the updated post here.
A 24 year-old snowboarder, Michael McKiernan allegedly accosted two employees of Aspen Skiing Company after they tried to take his pass. The real doozy here? He did so after he supposedly “ran over a skier” reports the Aspen. Times.
The whole thing happened near the base area of Aspen Mountain when McKiernan crashed into the skier, Joe Powers on the Little Nell run. Powers, a 56 year-old from Illinois, said by the time he realized what had happened, he was laying on his back and looked up to see McKiernan trying to make a getaway through the crowd near the base.
“His board took my legs out, and I was on my back. By the time I figured out what happened, he was taking his board off and running through the crowd.” – Joe Powers (*Quote Courtesy Of The Aspen Times)
Three other eyewitnesses corroborated Powers’ story. That said, Powers himself admitted in a statement that he “never saw” who actually hit him. However one of the eyewitnesses decided to follow the accused and later recounted the bizarre nature of the incident to police. “It was so crazy that someone would act like this.”
A ski instructor also saw the crash and confirmed that he saw a snowboarder had hit the skier at high speeds. The instructor approached McKiernan and his girlfriend about the crash, when both began to curse out the 70 year-old ski schooler.
It was at this point that things get REAL fuzzy. According to a police statement, the ski schooler pushed McKiernan’s girlfriend and she pushed back. After that, McKiernan shoved the ski schooler to the ground. He would later admit to pushing the instructor.
One Eyewitness even said that the alleged perpetrator’s girlfriend “was attempting to stab everyone with her ski poles.”
From there, things escalated quickly. Another Aspen Skico employee attempted to help and again asked for his pass… AGAIN! At this point, it’s no surprise that McKiernan wasn’t backing down. He attempted to make his getaway via a taxi cab but was refused service and later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
In yet another bizarre twist of events, Powers claims he went out for margaritas later and it just so happened that McKiernan was his bartender. When he confronted him AGAIN about the incident, he continued to claim innocence. Powers seems baffled by this resilient plea telling the Aspen Times, “I don’t want to see the kid get in trouble or anything… If he’d stopped and said ‘Sorry,’it would have been over.”
Find the entire Aspen Times article here: Boarder arrested after crash, confrontation on Aspen Mountain