Texas woman, 63, dies from injury suffered at ski area

— A 63-year-old Texas woman died of internal injuries she received while skiing at the Steamboat Ski Area on Feb. 24, Routt County Coroner Doug Allen ruled Tuesday.

Norma Raye Teague of Spring, Texas, died Feb. 26. She is the 13th person to die from an accident on Colorado's ski slopes this season. That's a record number of ski deaths for the state, topping the 12 deaths during the 1998-99 ski season.

Allen said Teague's case was unusual in that the woman's accident was not initially reported.

According to officials, Teague was vacationing in Steamboat Springs and was skiing Feb. 24 when she fell on Headwall, one of Steamboat's beginner slopes.

Allen said the woman apparently suffered an internal abdominal injury.

The woman did not notify the ski area's ski patrol of the injury and was not attended to at the resort by medical personnel, said Mike Lane, a spokesman for the ski area.

Allen said Teague was able to go back to her condo but went to the emergency room at Yampa Valley Medical Center several hours later.

She was diagnosed with the internal injury, and surgery was performed, Allen said.

Neither Allen nor Christine McKelvie, a hospital spokeswoman, would reveal details of the injury or the surgery.

McKelvie would not discuss when Teague came to the hospital or the time she underwent the surgery, citing patient confidentiality.

Allen started an investigation when Teague died because of complications from the injury.

Allen said he could not reveal the specific details of the injury but stressed the death was the result of "a hard 'skier-to-snow' fall."

Teague's family in Spring, which is north of Houston, could not be reached for comment.

The woman's death is the first one at the Steamboat Ski Area this winter. Last winter, two men died at the ski area.

So far this year, deaths have been reported at Aspen Highlands, Keystone, Snowmass, Breckenridge, Telluride and Monarch.

Prior to last winter, the Steamboat Ski Area went about three years without a fatality. During the 1996-1997 ski season, a skier died on the mountain because of a heart attack. During the 1995-1996 season, two people died while skiing.

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