A 25-year-old woman fell out of a toboggan and injured her head Monday afternoon as Aspen Mountain ski patrol was escorting her and two other guests down the mountain from a party at the Buckhorn Cabin.
“At approximately 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 20, Aspen Mountain patrol provided assistance with guests leaving a party at the Buckhorn Cabin,” a statement from Aspen Skiing Co. says. “Patrol [arrived] with a toboggan and proceeded to provide a courtesy ride for some guests.”
One of those guests had brought a speaker, presumably for music at the party, onto the toboggan as well, and when the woman fell out — near Bonnie’s restaurant on North American — she was “struck in the head” by the speaker, according to the statement.
“Additional patrol responded and provided treatment for a head injury,” the statement continues. “She was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The guest was transported to the base where she was taken by ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital.”
The incident remains under investigation. Responders took statements from several witnesses.
Despite wearing a helmet, the speaker apparently cut the woman’s face dramatically, according to sources familiar with the incident.
While patrollers often offer escorts down the mountain in non-emergency situations and such escorts are sometimes requested by guests, each situation is different, SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle clarified in an email Wednesday evening.
“Each request is a judgment call by patrol,” he said. “Their first priority is the guests’ safety.”
Additionally, there is no official policy outlining how many guests can safely ride in a toboggan.
“There is not a specific policy regarding the number of guests in a toboggan, and we often transport more than one,” Hanle said.
In the aftermath of the accident, the company focused on the woman’s well-being.
“We are hoping for a speedy and thorough recovery for the injured guest,” the SkiCo statement adds.
Snowmass Village home damaged by fire
A Snowmass Village home was rendered uninhabitable by a structure fire early this week.
Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 800 Sinclair Road at 11:14 p.m. Monday. Initial dispatch information indicated the roof was on fire. Apparatus and personnel were on the scene within 11 minutes, according to a news release from the fire rescue authority.
The first arriving unit reported the east side of the structure was involved with visible smoke and flames. Firefighters entered the residence and quickly extinguished the fire, preventing its spread. Crews completed salvage and overhaul operations to minimize damage. Multiple apparatus and 11 personnel from the fire rescue authority were on the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, the release says. Damage was primarily contained to the second-floor bedroom and moderate smoke and water damage was sustained to the residence. No injuries were reported. A loss cannot be estimated at this time, the release adds.
According to information from the Pitkin County Assessor’s Office, the 2,846-square-foot home was remodeled in 2005 and has an assessed value of $1.67 million.
The Aspen Fire Protection District and Snowmass Village Police Department assisted Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority in its response to the incident.