Woman seriously injured while riding on Columbia Slough Trail - KPTV - FOX 12

Woman seriously injured while riding on Columbia Slough Trail

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Jeff and Skjelse (Family photo) Jeff and Skjelse (Family photo)
Skjelse in the hospital after the incident (Family photo) Skjelse in the hospital after the incident (Family photo)

A Portland woman has a long road of healing ahead of her after a simple bike ride nearly cost her, her life.

Fox 12 spoke to the woman's husband, who says his wife doesn't remember a thing.

Jeff said he left his job at the Velo Cult Bike Shop and went to meet his wife Skjelse at the Portland International Raceway. 

Little did he know he was on the Columbia Slough a half a mile behind her when he got a disturbing phone call from a friend.

"He found her, he didn't realize it was my wife at the time. I think the biggest thing that goes through your head is just like, everything is going to be fine, it's probably just gonna be like a scratched shoulder, she dislocated something."

Jeff wasn't prepared for what he was about to see. Skjelse was found bloody and unconscious on the bike path with no one in sight.

"Rolling up on something like that, it's something you don't really want to relive and talk about."

When Jeff asked his friend if he remembered anything unusual, one thought came to mind.

"There was somebody who did climb up over onto the I-5 overpass, just came up from on the slough and then climbed over to the tailgate."

This is one of the few pieces of evidence police say they have in the case. At this point, they say they can't call it an assault because there were no witnesses to see what happened.

"When we went back and took a look at the scene it didn't make a lot of sense."

Jeff says after some searching, he noticed a rock that seemed oddly misplaced near the brush. 

"It was sort of inconspicuously placed but it was definitely out of line and it didn't make a lot of sense. That area is not a fairly rocky area, it's brushy. It has markings on it, what I assume are markings and what appears to be dried blood."

Police have since taken the rock and are testing it in attempt to make any connections. 

Jeff says Skjelse is recovering at home with the help of both their families.

"She's eating through a tube."

Now, Jeff says he's just focusing on his wife's recovery, and hopes she'll be able to get back on her bike again.

"I would gladly trade somebody a 2500 road bike for a year of her life and her piece of mind. If it means that much to somebody they can just have it."

Skjelse has already had a number of surgeries to reconstruct her jaw and mouth, and will be having more over the next year.

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