A second snowboarder stepped forward Tuesday morning to take the blame for a collision last week on Aspen Mountain, saying he, not his friend, was the one who crashed into a tourist. Connor Marx, 26, of Aspen called The Aspen Times on Tuesday and confessed to being the person who hit a 56-year-old skier from Illinois on Thursday afternoon.
“I want to set it straight and make sure people know (Michael McKiernan) didn’t do that,” Marx said. “I want to come forward so he doesn’t take the fall.”
Marx said he was snowboarding Thursday afternoon with McKiernan, a friend, and was ahead of him coming down Little Nell. He said he went over a roller, was looking at his feet and found himself on top of Joe Powers, the skier from Naperville, Illinois. Marx said he slid down the hill and was dazed after hitting Powers, then looked up the run and saw Powers getting up before going to check himself out. He said he didn’t know about a confrontation involving McKiernan until later.
An instructor had confronted McKiernan “and asked for his ski pass,” according to reports. McKiernan first began yelling and cursing at him, then McKiernan’s girlfriend stepped up and began cursing at him, as well. Another witness said the girlfriend “was attempting to stab everyone with her ski poles,” the reports state.
A different Skico employee also confronted McKiernan in an attempt to pull his pass and told police McKiernan “began throwing punches, which mainly all missed but one did make contact” according to the police reports.
Powers, the man who was hit, said he struck his head and back “pretty hard” on the icy run and could not ski the next day, which was the last day of his vacation. “I don’t want to see the kid get in trouble or anything,” he said. “If he’d stopped and said ‘sorry,’ it would have been over.