Marathoner facing 'her biggest summit' after being hit while training, says family
An Edmonton woman described as a goal chaser and adventure seeker is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle while training for an ultramarathon.
Police were called at 9:10 p.m. on June 29 to 152 Avenue and 127 Street, where a driver had taken a left turn into a Save-On-Foods and struck 36-year-old Christine Knicely. Officers believe sun glare may have been a factor.
“I received a call from my brother and I was panicked. He woke me up with a call and said, 'Christine was in a car accident and we don’t know any of the details,'” said Knicely’s sister, Rebecca Tetley.
Described as a trail lover, Knicely spends her free time running the river valley or hiking Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. The marathon runner has travelled to eight different countries, including Romania where she participated in an 80-kilometre marathon.
Knicely is in life-threatening but stable condition. Her injuries include a fractured skull, jaw, and ribs. A piece of Knicely’s skull was removed to relieve pressure from her brain. Doctors are unsure of how many procedures are needed and are waiting for the swelling in her brain to subside.
“What we know is she will need surgery on her shoulder as her shoulder is broken. She will potentially need surgery around her skull, around her ears, because those bones were misplaced. She will also need a piece of her skull put back in,” said Tetley.
“What the doctors have told us is she has a long road to recover ahead of her,” she added.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, only two people are allowed in the hospital at a time. Tetley spends between nine and 13 hours a day by her sister’s side.
“My mom is there more so for my sister. I am giving updates to friends and family as we get them from the hospital. We had hundreds and hundreds of people message and call us, saying if we need anything that they are here for us,” said the sister.
Police said on Tuesday the investigation was ongoing and can take several months.
As of midday Wednesday, more than $23,000 had been raised to help with Knicely's medical expenses.
“I started a GoFundMe to ensure she can go back to her normal life without having to worry about any bills or anything like that. Once she wakes up, I am going to tell her about it and that she can do with the money what she wishes,” said Tetley.
While her sister has not yet woken up, Tetley hopes she can recover and resume the activities she loves.
“I think there are going to be a lot of changes in her life. I think with her work and all her friends, she is going to be able to go back to as normal as possible and they are all going to accommodate her and the changes that will need to be made,” said Tetley.
“She is an amazing human and everyone is ready for her to crush this summit so she can crush all the others in the world,” she added.
The GoFundMe page can be found online.