Teen critical after crash outside Aspen
By Steve BensonAspen Times Staff WriterAlex Terral, a student at Aspen High School, remained in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Sunday following a car accident Thursday night. Terral, 17, suffered severe head injuries after fellow Aspen High student Dustin Hite, 17, lost control of his 1991 Mercedes one mile east of Aspen on Highway 82 at approximately 9:35 p.m.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, Hite’s car spun off the road in a right curve, collided with a fence and a large boulder, then rolled twice before coming to a stop on its wheels in a field. Terral and 15-year-old Max Bardell of Woody Creek were both ejected. Terral was riding in the front seat, while Bardell was in the back; neither were wearing seat belts. Hite – who was wearing his seat belt – and Bardell were treated and released from Aspen Valley Hospital with minor injuries. Terral was rushed to Aspen Valley Hospital and later flown to St. Mary’s. The cause of the accident was still under investigation by the state patrol Sunday. Alcohol is not suspected.
Terral is entering his senior year at Aspen High and at 6-foot-7 is a leader on the boys basketball team. His dad, Tim Terral, is a voluntary assistant coach on the team. “He is just a wonderful young man,” Skiers basketball coach Steve Ketchum said Sunday. “He’s very intelligent and obviously a superior athlete. He’s a huge part of this school and athletic program.”He is well liked by everyone.” Ketchum said the community organized two prayers for Terral over the weekend, and more prayers are to follow at 9 a.m. today.
“Some people were in groups, others just stopped what they were doing and said a prayer for him,” Ketchum said, adding that the prayers were coming from people of all faiths and could be done individually and at any location. Furthermore, Aspen High students have organized a candle-light service for Terral tonight at 7:30 in front of the high school. “There are so many people that love the Terral family, and the outpouring of prayers, support and affection show how much this family means to the community,” Ketchum said. “It’s very sad, it breaks my heart, but the community is rallying together.” Ketchum said he has notified other high school basketball teams in the area and that everyone has been “devastated by the news.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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