Steamboat Springs A Hayden man was airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center with critical injuries after crashing his motorcycle on Routt County Road 37 on Tuesday night.
Frank Welsh, 56, was heading north on C.R. 37 at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, near mile marker 10, when he struck a deer with his motorcycle and lost control, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said.
Welsh was ejected and sustained critical but "survivable" injuries, including serious head trauma, Elliott said.
An update on Welsh's condition was not available Wednesday.
Welsh was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
"When he was ejected, he landed on his head, and I do think a helmet would have at least limited his injuries," Elliott said.
Welsh was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center by an ambulance crew from the West Routt Fire Protection District. He later was airlifted to Denver Health.
Hayden police and the Routt County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.
Routt County has seen a significant increase in animal-related motor vehicle accidents in the past month or so, particularly with white-tailed deer.
"We're seeing a spike in the animal crashes again - I don't know what it is," Elliott said.
Driver in fatal one-vehicle accident was drunk
A 22-year-old man killed in a one-vehicle accident earlier this month on U.S. Highway 40 near Milner was driving with a blood alcohol level more than 2 1/2 times the legal limit.
A 2000 Dodge minivan driven by Ukraine native Oleg Lasii collided head-on with a tree 30 feet north of U.S. 40 on the morning of Aug. 4.
Hayden resident Lasii, a construction worker employed in the area as part of a worker exchange program, was pronounced dead at the scene, with blunt force head trauma and massive internal injuries.
Alcohol was suspected to be a contributing factor at the time of the accident, and toxicology reports indicate that Lasii had a blood alcohol content of 0.212 at the time of his death, Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said.
The legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol in Colorado is 0.08.
Alcohol containers were found at the crash site, and Lasii's passenger, 23-year-old Matthew Marquez of La Jara, was intoxicated at the scene, according to accident investigators.
Marquez sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Yampa Valley Medical Center via ambulance for emergency surgery.
The Aug. 4 crash was the first fatal car accident this year in Routt County.
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