Eau Claire man thanks strangers who helped out after fall - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire man thanks strangers who helped out after fall

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire man who has spent decades skiing at night took a fall that left him with a broken arm and no one around to help. Saturday he hit the trails for the first time since three strangers came to his rescue.

Randall Coleman is back skiing again for the first time in a month.

"I usually ski here alone, at night, with a light, and I've been doing this for 35 years," said Randall Coleman of Eau Claire.

Coleman was at Tower Ridge nearly a month ago when he took a fast fall.  

"I took a chance at going on down a hill. It was unusually fast, and then all of a sudden I hit some slow snow. Then back in the fast stuff, and it caused me to lunge forward really fast, and on my pole. It caused my upper arm to break," Coleman explained.

At 9 o'clock at night, there was no one around to help.

"This is where I fell, on the bottom of this big hill. And I had to go up this hill, and come all the way back to the parking lot," said Coleman as he pointed to a map of the Tower Ridge trail system.

"I could slightly ski in the skate motion as I made my way up the first uphill. Just enough to keep moving. But I had to stop quite often because of the pain," Coleman said.

When he finally made it to the parking lot, Coleman saw headlights and waved for help.  

"They were just driving out. So I waived frantically with my good arm, this arm, and I hollered as long as I could, and they stopped. They realized I was in trouble," mentioned Coleman.

The three girls in the car stopped to help. 

"They helped me get my skis off, and called the ambulance, and then put my stuff in the car," Coleman said.

In all chaos he forgot to ask for their names. 

"I talked to one of the girls briefly about what she did, but I never got the names. It just kind of slipped my mind," said Coleman.

So, to whoever the nameless rescuers are, Coleman wants to extend his thanks. 

"I can't say enough. I'm just so grateful," he said.

Randall will still have to wait another two weeks before having his cast removed. He's hopeful he can get back to skiing with two good arms again before the season ends.

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