In Brief: Skier died falling while clearing snow from chair in Breck; Basalt High senior show work; robotic surgery milestone reached |

In Brief: Skier died falling while clearing snow from chair in Breck; Basalt High senior show work; robotic surgery milestone reached

An Illinois man clearing snow from his chairlift seat with the safety restraint up fell out and died at Breckenridge Ski Resort a week ago, the local sheriff’s office reported.

John Perucco, 60, of Elgin, Illinois, was pronounced dead March 17 at St. Anthony’s Summit Hospital in Frisco after the fall, the Summit County Coroner’s Office said in an email. He was reportedly wearing a helmet when he fell from the lift.

He had not yet reached Tower 1 of Zendo Chair when he fell 25 feet and landed on a hard-packed, groomed trail below, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. The department was reportedly notified around 11:20 a.m. of a death at the emergency room.

Zendo Chair is a four-person, fixed-grip chairlift that traverses from Peak 7 to Peak 6, according to It opened in 2013, according to past Summit Daily News reports.

“This is another tragic Spring Break accidental death,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons wrote in an email. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the decedent.”

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is investigating the incident, according to Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies spokesperson Lee Rasizer. A public report will be published on the Tramway Safety Board’s website upon the completion of the investigation, Rasizer said.

Basalt High School seniors share Capstone Projects

The Roaring Fork Valley community is invited to Basalt High School from 6-8 p.m. on April 6 to view, ask questions, and engage with Basalt High School seniors about their Capstone Projects. These projects are the culmination of two years of work.

School officials said these will be engaging evenings of learning, discussion, and interacting with the high-school seniors. For more information, contact Diana C. Cordova Elliott at

Capstone Project Link:

Robotic surgery milestone reached

ValleyOrtho, part of Valley View Hospital, has reached the milestone of performing 1,000 Mako Robotic Arm surgeries since offering the technology to patients in the Roaring Fork Valley in 2018.

Transforming the way knee and hip replacements are performed, the Mako Robotic Arm is a state-of-the-art technology that allows orthopedic surgeons to precisely perform joint replacement surgery based on each person’s unique anatomy, Valley View officials said. 

While the Mako Robotic Arm was initially only found in large metropolitan areas, Valley View was the first hospital in the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle River Valley to use this medical advancement. This technology reduces post-surgical pain, shortens hospital stays, and promotes quicker rehabilitation, officials said.

Valley View now offers two Mako Robotic Arms: one at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and the other at the new Valley View Surgery Center in Basalt that opened this month.


Local 14 year old writes young adult novels

Nyala Honey has done more in her 14 years on this earth than many people accomplish in decades. The 14-year-old Basalt resident has published two young adult novels, which she’ll talk about and read from at Explore Booksellers at 2 p.m. on June 8.

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