Accidents, arrests abound over wild New Year’s weekend | AspenTimes.com
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Accidents, arrests abound over wild New Year’s weekend

Chad Abraham
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times
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Community safety officer Charlie Martin’s first day of 2006 was a long one.He said he responded to more than 10 accidents Sunday as steady snow turned to ice on streets all over town. He spoke briefly while filling out paperwork for another wreck, this one involving a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus that slid into an SUV parked in front of the Hotel Lenado around 4:30 p.m. No one was injured in Sunday’s accidents, Martin said.The slightly downhill part of Aspen Street where the accident occurred was a sheet of ice.

“You can’t even stand on it,” grumbled a RFTA supervisor who didn’t give his name. Martin said the driver would not be cited. The block of Aspen Street in front of the hotel was closed until the bus could be towed.Probably half of the weekend wrecks involved RFTA buses, said police officer Linda Consuegra.Accidents and other incidents kept officers hopping over the New Year’s weekend, which was, in terms of controlled chaos, nearly on par with the town’s millennium celebration of 1999, said Aspen police Sgt. Steve Smith.About 14 officers worked on New Year’s Eve, triple the level of a normal evening. Nearly 20 people were cited, mostly for underage drinking and disorderly conduct stemming from fights, Smith said. The pedestrian malls were packed with revelers, and when police ran out of patrol cars, ambulances transported suspects to jail, he said.

Deputies arrested one man who allegedly slugged security guards when he was denied entry to a swanky Red Mountain soiree Saturday night. The uninvited guest, whose name was unavailable, is charged with assault, said sheriff’s deputy Joe Bauer.Beginning around 8:30 p.m. and continuing for about the next seven hours, ambulance crews made repeated trips to detox stations run by the city and county, and the hospital, Smith said.Judy Evans, a supervisor at Aspen Valley Hospital, said the emergency room staff expected a crunch during perhaps the busiest weekend of the year in Aspen.”But I don’t know if we were expecting it to be as busy as it was,” she said.

Skiing-related injuries, patients with the flu and intoxicated parties combined to swamp the hospital over the weekend.”It was a very busy New Year’s Eve for sure,” Evans said.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com


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