Basalt man tossed from crosswalk to crosswalk after collision, cops say
A Basalt man flew 62 feet across the entire intersection of Main and Hunter streets — from crosswalk to crosswalk — after he was struck by an SUV last month, according to a police accident report.
David Rossi, 58, lost a shoe and his hat in the Dec. 21 collision while crossing Main Street, suffered serious head and pelvis injuries and came to rest in the opposite crosswalk on the other side of the intersection after he was hit, according to the Aspen Police Department report, which contains a diagram of what investigators believe happened.
Aspen resident Spencer Diamond, 18, has been charged with driving the Land Rover that allegedly struck Rossi, leaving the scene of the accident and failing to report the accident to authorities. A witness to the collision told police that Diamond stopped the SUV, got out, looked at Rossi laying the street, then got back in her car and fled the scene.
Sgt. Rick Magnuson, who heads APD’s investigations unit, confirmed Thursday that Diamond never called authorities to admit to striking a pedestrian at 11:52 p.m. on Dec. 21.
“She did not report it until we knocked on her door … at about 2 p.m. the following day,” Magnuson said.
He credited community residents for tips that led to Diamond’s arrest after police publicized photos of a light from the Land Rover left behind at the scene.
Magnuson said investigators do not yet know how fast Diamond was traveling when she struck Rossi, though the investigation is not yet complete. The speed limit on Main Street where the incident occurred is 25 mph.
Diamond, who is due Jan. 18 in Pitkin County District Court, was charged with felony failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury and misdemeanor charges of careless driving causing bodily injury and failure to notify police of an accident. Her Denver-based lawyer did not return a phone message Thursday seeking comment.
According to the accident report, the Land Rover was driving west on Main Street in the left inside lane, and Rossi was crossing Main Street at Hunter Street from south to north in intersection’s the eastside crosswalk when the collision occurred. The SUV struck Rossi with the front passenger side bumper, causing him to travel “approximately” 62 feet from the eastside crosswalk across Hunter Street to the westside crosswalk, where he came to rest.
Rossi’s hat was found by the side of the road just west of the crosswalk, while his shoe landed on the sidewalk in front of the Aspen Police Department building, according to the accident report.
Police were able to review video surveillance from cameras in the APD building pointed at the street. The video allegedly shows the driver initially stopped the Land Rover in the middle of the intersection after the collision, with Rossi’s body in the westside crosswalk just off the passenger side bumper, according to Magnuson and the report.
The video then shows that the Land Rover pulled forward again after the initial stop, though the video does not capture Diamond getting out of the vehicle and looking at Rossi as the witness described, Magnuson said.
Asked if investigators have uncovered any indication that Diamond might have been intoxicated at the time of the crash, Magnuson declined to comment.
“I don’t want to talk about that yet,” he said Thursday. “Everything is still under investigation at this point. We’re going to see where everything leads.”
Diamond gave police a statement about what happened, though Magnuson declined to comment on its contents.
Rossi suffered a head injury that kept him in intensive care at a Denver-area hospital for two days after he was helicoptered from Aspen Valley Hospital following the crash. He told The Times earlier this week that his pelvis was shattered in several places and that he will need physical therapy on the Front Range for the next month and a half.
Rossi, who works at Replay Sports in Aspen, said he doesn’t remember being hit and that he’s thankful for not remembering. He also said he harbors no ill will toward Diamond.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard on Tuesday announced the final U.S. World Cup schedule, a lineup that includes the Aspen World Cup from March 3 to 5 on Aspen Mountain. Those races will include a men’s super-G and two men’s downhills.