Another side to the story
January 23, 2007
Dear Editor:Over the last week, I have been reading the many articles written about the accident that occurred last Sunday, Jan. 14 (the snowmobiler colliding with a snowboarder). I wanted to comment on some things that I have read that were bothering me.I know the snowboarder, Doran Laybourn, very well; we have been dating for two and a half years. I also know that Doran is very knowledgeable about the backcountry and backcountry etiquette, and would not do anything to jeopardize his, or anyone else’s, safety. Doran has been snowboarding professionally for over 10 years, and has more control on a snowboard than anyone I’ve ever seen. For anyone to say that he was “riding out of control,” especially on a groomed snowcat track, is obviously stretching the truth to make himself, and the driver of the snowmobile, look better (especially since the passenger, who claims to be part of Mountain Rescue, knows he did not offer any bit of help to the seriously injured party).I have been staying in the hospital room since Monday with Doran (I flew into Aspen from L.A. when I heard Doran was in the ICU). I have never seen Doran more injured and in more pain, and I cannot believe that a snowmobile traveling at 15 mph could ever do this much damage to a person, especially someone as big and tough as Doran. If that snowmobile was truly traveling that slowly, Doran would have had no problem getting out of the way. Anyone who has ever been on a snowmobile traveling that slow would know that it is basically traveling at a snail’s pace.Lastly, Doran did not just “cut” his face and head, he has multiple fractures in his face! Doran has already undergone three surgeries and still sees a few more in his future. The surgery he had on his face on Saturday to fix all those fractures was very painful for him, and not an easy one. He has been stuck in bed, in the hospital, for a week now and can’t even sit up in bed for more than half an hour. He also has a shattered leg and a low blood count. For anyone to make light of this situation is criminal! With all the stories I have heard from witnesses of the accident, I cannot believe that the driver could be so coldhearted as to not want to help a person in such an emergency situation. If Doran had taken any longer to get to the hospital and in emergency surgery, he could have very well gotten compartment syndrome and lost his leg! Doesn’t anyone see the seriousness in this situation? Just having to hear about this accident and how it was handled makes me seriously question the morality of humanity …With all this said, I do want to send out a huge thanks to all of Doran’s friends, Justin (Jerz) and Mike Nakagawa, for manning up and taking full control of Doran’s rescue. I also want to thank the many nurses and doctors at Aspen Valley Hospital for being so patient with Doran. They have been working so hard to keep Doran comfortable, nurse him back to health, and get him back on his feet.Lastly, thanks for all of Doran’s friends and family for sending their love and stopping by to brighten his spirits. Marisa MetildiSanta Monica, Calif.