Boy injured in deadly accident slowly improving
The 13-year-old boy injured in a car wreck at Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road last week is improving but remains in intensive care at Children’s Hospital in Denver, a family friend said Monday.Michael Felt was in the back seat of a 2006 Ford Taurus his father, Steve Felt, was driving Dec. 28 when a pickup truck hit it, killing passenger Elizabeth Birt, 49. All three were visiting Aspen from Wilmette, Ill.According to the Colorado State Patrol, the elder Felt went against a red light when he turned left from Highway 82 onto Brush Creek Road. A Toyota pickup, which had the green light, hit the car broadside. The collision, which sent the Taurus spinning into the northbound lane of Brush Creek Road, crushed the front and back passenger doors of Felt’s car.Aspen resident Diana Stein, a former law partner of Birt’s who is in contact with the Felt family, said Monday that Michael “had a spectacular day” on Sunday. She said he had been in an induced coma while doctors monitored him for brain damage and tried to repair other injuries, including a crushed chest.The coma-inducing medications were reduced over the weekend and Felt opened his eyes, spoke and wiggled his toes in response to a command from a doctor.Birt, a divorced attorney who left behind three children, one of them autistic, reportedly was engaged to Felt. She is to be buried in Kansas City, where she was born and raised, on Thursday. A second memorial service is planned in the Chicago area on Jan. 14, and another service might take place in the Aspen area, Stein said.Birt was known worldwide as an advocate for autistic children believed to have contracted the disease through exposure to mercury-laden vaccines. Her death has prompted dozens of letters to The Aspen Times about her work and about the loss it represents to the community of autism activists.
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Colorado’s Western Slope is considered a climate hot spot where temperatures are increasing faster than the global average. This warming has contributed to more than 20 years of dryness, which scientists are calling a megadrought.