Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The 9-year-old Steamboat Springs boy who suffered a head injury during a fall at the Howelsen Hill terrain park Friday is making progress in a Denver hospital, his father said Wednesday.
Tait Dixson, a third-grader at Strawberry Park Elementary School, landed on his face after launching into the air while free riding with friends. He was taken by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center at about 5:30 p.m. and transferred to Children's Hospital later that evening.
"He's walking, and he's starting to talk. He called me on the phone last evening and again this morning," said Greg Dixson, Tait's father.
"He's getting physical therapy -- an injury like this, it takes time to recover. Already, I'm pleased with the progress he's made."
Tait's mother, Ann, is with him in Denver.
Greg Dixson said his son was wearing a ski helmet at the time of the accident. The boy is a member of the Alpine skiing program in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club but was not involved in a club activity at the time he was hurt, Greg Dixson said. Tait was enjoying the terrain park with friends.
A second boy was hurt in the terrain park during the weekend, but not as seriously. The boy was treated and released at Yampa Valley Medical Center on Sunday.
The Howelsen Hill Ski Area is operated as a city park by the city of Steamboat Springs. It is open to the public and used daily as a training facility by the Winter Sports Club.
"The two accidents were free riders, not under the supervision of the Winter Sports Club," Director of Parks Recreation and Open Space Chris Wilson said. "(City) staff and the Winter Sports Club are looking into the accidents and putting together what follow-up, if any, we need."
Greg Dixson, a member of the board of directors of the Winter Sports Club, was in Breckenridge attending a ski race with Tait's brother and sister Friday. When he learned about his son's injury, he said he drove to Denver to meet the air ambulance.
Dixson said he was impressed with the care the Howelsen ski patrol, emergency medical technicians, hospital personnel and air ambulance crews provided his son.
"Everyone got it right," he said.