Broken leg reported after Aspen pedestrian mall car strike
The horse-drawn carriage driver hit by a wealthy part-time Aspen resident driving an SUV downtown on Christmas Eve suffered a broken leg, according to a police report.
The driver, Susan Braddock, 75, of Manhattan, showed no signs of impairment after the crash on the Galena Street pedestrian mall, however, and told police the Land Rover she was driving “just took off,” the report states.
An Aspen police officer on his way to a public outreach event APD was hosting at the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Galena Street happened to witness the incident about 1:20 p.m., the report states. He noted seeing traffic backed up as he approached from the northeast.
“There was a row of cars with (Braddock’s) silver Land Rover in the crosswalk,” Officer Adriano Minniti wrote in the report. “As I approached the crosswalk, the silver Land Rover … started to pull around the vehicle in front of it, to the right, in an effort to bypass the backed up traffic.
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“The vehicle then sped up quickly, went around the vehicle and came to a stop, perpendicular, to the normal flow of traffic.”
Minniti said he ran to the vehicle.
“When I approached the vehicle, I noticed there was a pedestrian down on the ground and screaming in pain,” the report states. “It was later determined that the individual hit by the vehicle … sustained a broken femur.”
Braddock’s vehicle lightly hit the horse-drawn carriage but “squarely struck” the carriage driver, “who was thrown from where she was standing,” according to the report.
Aspen police at the time said in a statement they believed Braddock “accidentally accelerated past stopped traffic, up onto the mall walking area and striking the victim.
Braddock was charged with careless driving causing bodily injury. She is scheduled to appear in Pitkin County Court on Feb. 25.
Braddock, a philanthropist, and her husband, former Priceline CEO Richard Braddock, own the Peak House, the highest single-family residence on Red Mountain. The couple purchased the 17,839 square-foot home in 2001 for $22 million.
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The Aspen City Council directed staff to work with restaurants and retail shops to find out how much interest there is in expanding into the public right-of-way. Use of interior space will be limited for an unknown time so businesses will be given the opportunity to use public right-of-way.