News in Brief
October 18, 2006
A jury rendered a $2,000 judgment against the Roaring Fork Transit Authority in a civil trial involving a woman who fell on a bus in September 2002.Terry Decker, who fell while changing seats after the driver hit the brakes, was seeking damages of more than $500,000. The jury of five women and one man, however, found that while there was negligence on the part of RFTA, there could be no damages for economic or physical loss. After four hours of deliberation, the jury found that 25 percent of the negligence was Decker’s, while 75 percent was on the part of RFTA. The three-day trial showed Decker’s lawyers trying to prove she was permanently disabled from the fall she took on the bus. At issue for the defense was a previous fall she had taken in a car wash. Further, the defense noted she had, at one point, lied on her Social Security statement. At the end of the trial it looked like RFTA might have a larger judgment. “On behalf of RFTA, my noncuddly defendant, I hope you do your job” the defense lawyer told the jury in his closing statement.
The “Allez Up” fundraiser invites the public to a night of food, drink and entertainment from 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, to raise money for longtime local Robin Ferguson, who is battling cancer of the esophagus. Having exhausted traditional treatments, Ferguson is pursuing treatments abroad that insurance doesn’t cover. The event will take place at the McCabe Ranch Barn in Old Snowmass, just off Capitol Creek Road on Elk Creek Road 9A. The event is free and open to the public, although a suggested donation of $50 or less will be accepted at the door. The evening includes dinner, dancing, music and magic, and master of ceremonies Pastor Mustard (aka Dan Sadowsky) will conduct both silent and live auctions. Music will be by the All Star Bluegrass Jam, Slightly White and Network, magic by Doc Eason and square dancing led by Tom and Julie Paxton.Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Robin Ferguson benefit account at any Alpine Bank.For more information, call 927-2567.
A hunter lost in the snowstorm that hit the high country Tuesday spent a cold night in the open but was found by friends Wednesday morning.Roger H. Debenham, 68, of Drake, got lost while hunting south of Heart Lake in the Flat Tops north of Glenwood Springs.According to Tanny McGinnis, community relations deputy with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Debenham had gone off to hunt on his own and became disoriented during the snowstorm.He was reported missing at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after he missed a rendezvous with others in his hunting group and they were unable to reach him by two-way radio. Garfield and Eagle County search and rescue teams were called out to look for him.McGinnis said Debenham tried to light a fire but the wood was too wet to ignite. Then he made a bed out of pine boughs and spent the night. About 8:30 Wednesday morning rescuers were able to contact him via radio. They found him at 9:30 a.m. near Grizzly Lake, about three miles south of the group’s hunting camp on White Owl Lake.McGinnis said Debenham was uninjured.The Associated Press reported that Debenham’s wife spoke to him soon after he was found.Karen Debenham said she had spoken to her husband and he was “as best as can be expected. He’s tired, cold and hungry.” (Glenwood Springs Post-Independent)