Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts suffered a broken bone near one of his eyes and cracked or broke some ribs in an accident Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area that has left him unconscious and in critical condition at a Denver hospital.
Roberts remained in critical condition Tuesday night at Denver Health medical center. Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord, who has assumed Roberts’ duties in his absence and has been in close contact with his family, said her boss is responding to voice commands for simple movements, such as raising an arm slightly.
DuBord said Roberts had an MRI on Tuesday, the results of which could be known this morning. She said doctors have told the family that the impacts of head injuries can take time to become fully apparent. It still isn’t clear how Roberts was hurt. He was found unconscious on the Sitz ski run early Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a helmet and was not found near any trees.
Steamboat Springs Police Chief JD Hays said Tuesday that he’s heard rumors in town about a possible collision and someone leaving the scene. Hays said those rumors appear to be speculative.
“Indications are that there’s not been a collision,” Hays said. “Right now, it appears that it was just an out-in-the-open, one-person crash.”
Hays said he could meet today with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials, who may be in contact with a person who saw Roberts’ injury.
Ski area spokesman Mike Lane has said a skier or snowboarder called the ski area’s dispatch after seeing Roberts on the ground Sunday. DuBord said Roberts’ family is thankful for the overwhelming community response. DuBord said she’s fielded “at least 60” phone calls from community members offering all kinds of support, including lodging in Denver for his family. DuBord said she even got a phone call from Fort Collins city officials, offering any needed help from that city.
DuBord said she is passing on all well-wishes to Roberts’ wife, LeAnn, who has been at the hospital with their three adult children. DuBord said LeAnn called the community’s response “overwhelming.”
DuBord said people often ask what they can do to help, but she doesn’t have an answer yet.
“Right at this point, there really isn’t much that people can do other than send good wishes and a collective prayer,” DuBord said.
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org