Police look for skier who left collision scene | AspenTimes.com

Police look for skier who left collision scene

Naomi Havlen

Police are investigating a Tuesday hit-and-run skiing accident on Aspen Mountain that left the victim with a concussion.A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the unknown skier.According to police, part-time Aspen resident Fran Hoffman, 68, was skiing down the Little Nell run at the base of Aspen Mountain around 1 p.m. when he was hit by another skier and knocked unconscious. Witnesses told police they saw two people lying on the ground where the accident occurred, but in the hustle to get help for the two skiers, one of the skiers fled the scene.It is against the law in Colorado for skiers to leave the scene of a crash they have been involved in without stopping, waiting to see if the other party is OK and exchanging information. Aspen Police Officer Ian MacAyeal said the crime is a violation of the Skier Safety Act, a petty offense punishable by a fine of up to $300.There is no description of the person who skied into Hoffman. Aspen Mountain Manager Steve Sewell said employees working in the gondola plaza immediately began asking people if there were any additional witnesses to the crash, but they had no luck.Hoffman was taken to the hospital after the collision, where he was treated for a concussion, bruises, aches and pains and then released.”I don’t really remember anything until I woke up in the ambulance,” Hoffman said Wednesday. The day after the accident he said he had a number of sore spots on his body, including his ribs, neck and a black right eye. His goggles were also broken.”I was lucky I had my helmet on – the doctor said I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have it on,” he said.Hoffman said he was skiing down Little Nell and remembers a snowboarder on his left side. He said he stayed to the right to keep out of the snowboarder’s path, when evidently a skier behind him and to the right collided with him.He said he hopes to feel well enough to ski again in a couple of days.Sewell said hit-and-run accidents are extremely rare. And unless someone knows something about the crash and comes forward, it’ll be difficult to find the assailant without a description.”As a violation of Colorado state law, we get the police department involved and pull out all of the stops to try and find this person,” he said. “That’s why there’s a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this person.”Sewell said this week has seen a “standard Christmastime crowd” on the slopes, and increased ski patrollers are out trying to warn people to keep their speed down.Anyone who may have information about the crash is encouraged to either call the Aspen Police Department at 920-5400, or the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol at 920-0723.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com