5-year-old seriously hurt in ski accident
March 20, 2002
A five-year-old boy participating in a ski-school class was severely injured after skiing into a tree at Aspen Highlands Tuesday morning.
The boy, described as an intermediate skier, was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. He was listed in serious condition at Children’s Hospital in Denver Tuesday night.
According to an Aspen Skiing Co. press release, the accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. as the boy and his class skied Lower Jerome, a blue run located near the bottom of the mountain. Highlands ski patrol responded “immediately,” the press release states, and transported him to a waiting ambulance.
The boy was admitted to Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment less than an hour later. An AVH house supervisor said the boy, listed in serious condition when he left Aspen, was flown to Denver for evaluation around 2 p.m. Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said the boy’s father accompanied him on the plane ride.
Hanle did not know if the boy and his family are local or Aspen visitors.
A Children’s Hospital spokesperson said the boy was admitted in critical condition, but he had been upgraded to serious condition by 8 p.m. The spokesperson said the boy was suffering from a head laceration, his only known injury as of Tuesday evening.
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Hanle said the boy’s ski class requires students to ski at Level 5 or above. Ski instructors describe Level 5 as intermediate, typical of skiers who have learned to keep their feet parallel and link turns easily.
Though a helmet is not required for the class, Hanle said the boy brought one to his lesson.