Driver charged in pedestrian-vehicle accident in downtown Aspen
The woman behind the wheel of a Range Rover who drove onto the Galena Street pedestrian mall Tuesday and hit a woman standing there has been charged with careless driving causing bodily injury.
The driver, Susan Braddock, 72, will have a mandatory court appearance in Pitkin County Court to answer to the misdemeanor charge.
Braddock, a philanthropist, lives in the notorious Peak House, the highest single-family residence on Red Mountain. She and her husband, Richard Braddock, a former CEO of Priceline, among other corporations, bought the house in 2001. Richard Braddock also serves as a trustee on the Aspen Institute board of directors.
At 1:20 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Susan Braddock was traveling south on Galena Street when she continued onto the pedestrian mall where it intersects with Cooper Avenue.
She hit Jo-Ye Chau, a horse-drawn carriage driver, who was seriously injured. An update on her injuries was not available.
Aspen police said they believe Braddock “accidentally accelerated past stopped traffic, up onto the mall walking area and striking the victim,” according to a news release.
Aspen City Manager Sara Ott said Tuesday afternoon that city officials have been considering some type of barrier between the walking malls and streets to create special awareness for cars and pedestrians.
“I think we can do more for pedestrian safety if the community is willing to accept it,” she said. “Current conditions are not the best for our citizens and visitors.”
The Braddocks bought the 17,839-square-foot home for $22 million.
The seller was Viktor Kozeny, who reportedly wined and dined Aspen’s wealthiest residents at a Christmas bash in 1997, and apparently conned many of them out of much of the cash netted in his $450 million scam to purchase controlling interest in some of Azerbaijan’s richest oil fields, according to a 2003 Aspen Times report.
Neither Braddock or Chau returned phone calls seeking comment.
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The U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Eagle Valley Land Trust are hosting three in-person open house sessions in the coming weeks to collect initial public input on the future management of Sweetwater Lake and surrounding area.