Construction worker: ‘I’ve got nine lives’ |

Construction worker: ‘I’ve got nine lives’

Joel Stonington
Aspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” A construction worker narrowly escaped disaster Tuesday by jumping out of a backhoe just before it slid over a 150-foot embankment and ended up in Castle Creek, outside of Aspen.

Kenny Ward, of Carbondale, was pick­ing the backhoe up from a worksite on Conundrum Creek Road where a house is being built. Ward works for Blaine Ward Towing, a company that moves construction equipment.

The backhoe began sliding backward along Conundrum Creek Road where it meets up with Castle Creek Road.

“It broke loose and slid sideways,” Ward said. “I hit the ground and turned. I just took off. Took off running.”

Ward couldn’t get the backhoe under control, and jumped out just as it went over a steep embankment and rolled 150 feet down to Castle Creek.

Ward appeared shaken up by the inci­dent, barely clinging to a coffee cup as he stood and recalled what had happened, half an hour afterward. His thoughts kept jumping around.

“I want to go up and look at that thing,” he said. “I’m like a cat, I’ve got nine lives.”

Then he paused, looked at another construction worker and said, “What’d my boss say?”

Luckily, the boss wasn’t angry in the least.

“I’m just thankful nobody got hurt,” said Blaine Ward, the owner of the towing company. “It must have got some­thing on the tracks and it just went away on him. That road looked all right. It was unforeseen. It just happened.”

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