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Report: 1st medics turned away in Richardson fall

MONTREAL - The first ambulance sent to a ski resort where actress Natasha Richardson fell and suffered a head injury was turned away, a paramedic told a Canadian newspaper.

Richardson was injured Monday while taking a beginners ski course in Quebec and died Wednesday in a New York hospital. A statement from the family did not give details of the precise cause of death.

Yves Coderre, director of operations at the emergency servicescompany that sent the medics to the Mont Tremblant resort, told TheGlobe and Mail newspaper Wednesday that ski patrollers requested anambulance after Richardson fell.

The paramedics who responded were told they were not needed,said Coderre, whose company, Ambulances Radisson, serves MontTremblant, about 80 miles northwest of Montreal

"They never saw the patient," Coderre told The Globe and Mail."So they turned around."

Coderre said another ambulance was called later to Richardson'sluxury hotel. By that point, her condition had gotten worse and shewas rushed to a hospital.

It wasn't immediately clear who sent the first ambulance away orwhy, but a resort spokeswoman said Tuesday that Richardsoninitially said that she was fine.

The resort also issued a statement Tuesday that said Richardsondidn't appear hurt and was walking around shortly after theincident.

"She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrolfollowed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom ofthe slope and insisted she should see a doctor," the resort saidin its statement.

The ski resort said the instructor and a ski patrolleraccompanied the actress to her hotel, where they again recommendedshe should be seen by a doctor.

Coderre said victims of head trauma often believe they are fine,a mistake that can cost them their lives.

"When you have a head trauma you can bleed. It can deterioratein a few hours or a few days," he told the newspaper.

She was eventually moved to a Montreal hospital before beingtransferred to New York.

Messages left by The Associated Press with Coderre at AmbulancesRadisson and the Mont Tremblant resort were not immediatelyreturned.

Richardson, 45, divided her time between stage and screen. OnBroadway, she won a Tony for her performance as Sally Bowles in a1998 revival of "Cabaret."

Richardson was married to Liam Neeson and was the daughter of

Vanessa Redgrave. She and Neeson have two sons.

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