Skier left with horrific scars to sue family of child who 'hit her with skis'

A teacher who was left with horrific facial scars following a skiing accident is attempting to sue the family of a child she said hit her with a pair of skis.

Louise Timbrell didn't look in the mirror until she was back in the UK
Louise Timbrell didn't look in the mirror until she was back in the UK

Louise Timbrell, 42, was holidaying at the Morillon resort in the French Alps two years ago when she claims she was struck by the blades that were slung over a young girl’s shoulder.

Ms Timbrell, of Ackleton, near Bridgnorth, said she was standing, letting people pass her, when she was hit by the skis.

The mother’s cheek and lip were so badly slashed that even now, two years after the February 2015 half term accident, she is still scarred and has flashbacks and nightmares.

She also said she has weekly therapy to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Just looking at my face is a reminder every day of what happened to me," Ms Timbrell, said. 

“The accident has dramatically changed my life. I am terrified of going skiing again, something that has been a tradition for me and my family for a long time.

Her face is scarred, she dribbles and struggles to drink out of a bottle, because she has difficulty pursing her lips after stitches were used to repair the tear.

Ms Timbrell’s husband Andy, 43, a chartered surveyor, and their children Archie, now 12, and Darcy, 16, were skiing in front of her on the busy slope.

“There were a lot of people about, because it was half term, so I stopped to let people pass me,” she explained.

 “Then I just remember getting hit in the face. It all happened so quickly and the next thing I knew I was lying in the snow going in and out of consciousness.

“I could just hear my children screaming and crying and my face was in so much pain.”

The right-side of Ms Timbrell’s face was cut from her cheek to her lip, severing the upper lip muscle through the inner lip, leaving a hole into the gum.

With the snow covered in blood, the nearby mountain rescue team stretchered Ms Timbrell three miles from the crash site, to the bottom of the slope.

There she had emergency care and her mouth was bandaged up to stop the bleeding.

“My hood was filled with blood and straight away I knew it was really serious,” Ms Timbrell said.

Her husband and children joined her at the bottom of the slope, where they were told she needed to be rushed to Sallanches Hospital, 40 minutes away.

Ms Timbrell’s daughter Darcy travelled with her in the ambulance, while her husband and son made their way back to their chalet before driving to the hospital.

Once examined by doctors, she was told she would need six internal stitches to repair her severed upper lip muscle, plus eight external stitches to the outer and inner lip.

“I was in a state of shock, but in hindsight I am so thankful I had my sunglasses on, otherwise the skis could have cut my eye and it would have been a lot more serious,” she continued.

After around 10 hours, Ms Timbrell was discharged from hospital and the family cut their holiday short by two days, setting off on the 15 hour drive back .

Once home, Ms Timbrell went to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and was later examined by a maxillo-facial specialist, who deals with issues affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck. It was then that she faced her injuries by looking in the mirror for the first time in three days.

Ms Timbrell paid for the medical treatment upfront, but has since claimed the cost back through their travel insurance.

She has now hired law firm Irwin Mitchell and is suing the young skier’s family’s insurers after claiming she was hit by her.

The skier, thought to be around 12, is British but lives in France.

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