Man hit by car is ski pro
The pedestrian hit by an SUV Saturday night while crossing Highway 82 during a snowstorm is a ski pro in the kids’ division at the Buttermilk Ski and Snowboard School.
Alexander Hohenzollern, 42, was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Sunday morning.
He was hit while crossing Highway 82 by an SUV driven by another ski pro, David Elston, a Snowmass Village-area resident, according to Colorado State Patrol trooper Brian Koch. Doug Mackenzie, Snowmass Ski Area general manager, confirmed that Elston is a pro at the Snowmass Ski and Snowboard School.
According to Andy Hanson, Buttermilk kids’ division supervisor, Hohenzollern will need at least two surgeries to repair his injuries, including two severely broken legs, a cracked pelvis and, possibly, a severed urethra.
Hanson said he spoke with Hohenzollern yesterday, shortly before the three-year Buttermilk employee was wheeled into the emergency room. “It sounds like he’s out of danger,” Hanson said.
Employees at Buttermilk are raising money to help Hohenzollern when he gets out of the hospital. Hohenzollern told Hanson that he faces at least three to four months in a wheelchair once he is discharged from the hospital. He currently resides in a second-floor apartment in Twining Flats.
“It’s going to be tough, really tough for him when he gets out,” Hanson said.
Hanson said Hohenzollern was one of the most dedicated snowmobile drivers at the Winter X Games earlier this year, working long hours around his regular schedule to shuttle athletes and support personnel up and down the hill. “He was Mr. Snowmobile,” Hanson said.
He is also known to stay after work to help the ski patrollers close the mountain.
The Buttermilk Ski Patrol has decided to donate all its proceeds over the year to the cause, and his co-workers hope to raise more at the upcoming Buttermilk employee year-end party. Hanson said anyone wishing to make donations can call him at 920-0976.
Trooper Koch issued two citations to Hohenzollern after finding no evidence of wrongdoing on Elston’s part. Hohenzollern apparently darted in front of Elston’s SUV at the intersection of Highway 82 and Owl Creek Road when Elston had the right of way.