Boulder motorcyclist airlifted to Aspen Valley Hospital Saturday after crash on Hagerman Pass
A Boulder man who crashed a motorcycle on Hagerman Pass Road Saturday was airlifted to Aspen Valley Hospital for his injuries, a Pitkin County news release said Sunday.
Around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Pitkin County dispatchers were notified that a motorcyclist had crashed in the upper Frying Pan Valley above Ivanhoe Reservoir on Hagerman Pass, sustaining head and neck injuries, the release says. An emergency signaling device had been activated and a caller had notified Lake County dispatchers of the crash, which was relayed to Pitkin County first responders.
Mountain Rescue Aspen, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority and Careflight of the Rockies—a medical helicopter based in Rifle—immediately responded to the crash. A ground team from MRA reached the motorcyclist at 8:17 p.m., and the Careflight helicopter was able to land in a clearing about two and a half miles away shortly after. The upper portion of Hagerman Pass where the crash happened is only accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance, as the roadway is uneven, steep and contains many rock hazards, the release states.
An MRA rescue vehicle transported the motorcyclist to the medical helicopter, which flew the man to Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment. According to an MRA member at the crash scene, the motorcyclist’s helmet saved his life, the release says.
“This incident was a clear example of a helmet saving a life,” the news release states. “Mountain Rescue Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office encourage all users of off-road vehicles to wear helmets and utilize safety devices.”
The crash was a single-vehicle accident that is being investigated by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service’s Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Boulder man had been released from Aspen Valley Hospital, Pitkin County officials said.
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The Independence Pass Foundation has worked since the mid-1990s to stabilize the steep, eroding slopes along Highway 82 near the summit of the pass. Its latest investment is $100,000 to vegetate the Top Cut.