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Friends, family speak as Utah snowboarder injured in crash remains in coma

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Posted at 9:52 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 23:52:09-05

UTAH COUNTY -- A Utah County snowboarder is in the hospital in a coma after suffering a devastating injury on the slopes Saturday.

According to family, 30-year-old Casey Fehlberg suffered brain damage while attempting a jump at Park City Mountain Resort. They won't know how severe the damage is until he awakes from his coma.

"It's his passion, he loves extreme, anything extreme he's always excelled at," said his friend Zach Johnson.

Johnson was boarding with Fehlberg at Three Kings Terrain Park when Casey went off a large jump known as Silver Hollow.

"He went off the ramp fine, it's when he landed he kind of landed with his board already facing downhill, so it caught right away," Johnson said.

Casey was wearing a helmet, but he hit the snow face first. Johnson just assumed he'd get up and walk away like he always does.

"'Casey, come on bro, wake up!' We were just laughing, you know," Johnson said.

However, Casey did not respond. He was unconscious and was later airlifted to the University of Utah Medical Center. In a matter of an hour he went from a hat and gloves, to a respirator and tubes.

"Initially we weren't even sure that he was even going to survive the next hour or two, so it was heart-wrenching, it was devastating news," said Marc Fehlberg, Casey's brother.

Fehlberg said he has watched his brother Casey wipe out countless times throughout the years, but he never imagined it could lead to this.

"Flipping through the air, flying through the air, he just loves that, that thrill that comes with that, and he's always had a real natural knack for it," Fehlberg said.

The family says Casey is the life of every party. While attending BYU, he was Cosmo the Cougar. He also has big dreams. He had recently transferred to the University of Utah to pursue a law degree.

"Already we miss him and we just want him to come back to us," Fehlberg said.

Casey does not have insurance, so a GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for the medical expenses. Supporters are also using #GoBigForCasey on social media. So far the community has raised nearly $40,000.