Man dies in paragliding crash |

Man dies in paragliding crash

Naomi Havlen
Bystanders watch as emergency personnel perform CPR on a male paraglider who crash-landed Thursday evening on the Marolt Open Space. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.

A Boulder man was killed Thursday evening when he crash-landed his paraglider onto the Marolt Open Space in Aspen.The man, whose first name was Max, according to others who were paragliding with him, had come to Aspen on Thursday and paraglided in this area for the first time in the morning. He was preparing to land just before 8 p.m. when witnesses at the scene of the crash described seeing him locked in a spiral dive.

Pitkin County Coroner Steve Ayers said the victim, whose name was unavailable Thursday night, fell 200 to 300 feet to the ground, suffering massive bodily trauma. Doctors in the emergency room told Ayers that somehow the victim’s body swung out to the side and up over his paraglider, landing on and collapsing its canopy.Aspen police and emergency medical technicians from Aspen Valley Hospital were performing CPR on the victim where he crashed in the field south of Highway 82 and about 300 feet east of the Aspen Community Garden.

Ayers said there will be no autopsy but a routine drug and alcohol test will be performed.”I saw him spiraling around and around,” said Aspen resident Jim Brasile, who was riding his bike on Marolt Place road when he saw the paraglider. “I could tell from 200 yards away that he was too low to the ground to be doing that.”

Brasile said when he arrived, the victim was not moving or responsive and appeared to have blood around his nose and mouth. Emergency workers continued to try to resuscitate the man while they loaded him into an ambulance to take him to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.More information about the victim was not available at press time.

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