Top Democrat critical after bike accident |

Top Democrat critical after bike accident

A prominent member of the Democratic National Committee was in critical condition last night after a bike accident on Maroon Creek Road Sunday afternoon.

Daniel A. Dutko, 54, of Chevy Chase, Md., suffered severe head injuries in the accident. He was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital shortly after the 2 p.m. accident, and then flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. A St. Mary’s spokesperson said last night that Dutko was in the Intensive Care Unit in critical condition.

Dutko’s extensive resume includes his present position as co-chair of Leadership 2000, the DNC’s top finance committee. He was in Aspen last weekend for President Bill Clinton’s fund-raising visit.

“We were very distressed to hear about the accident; it’s really unfortunate,” said Camilla Auger, Pitkin County Democratic Committee chairwoman.

Auger said Monday afternoon that Dutko’s family was on its way to see him at St. Mary’s Hospital. She declined to comment further on the incident.

In addition to serving as co-chair of the senior DNC committee, Dutko is also a founding partner and chairman of The Dutko Group, Inc., a public policy management or lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C.

Dutko’s resume also includes service as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Donald Stewart (D-Ala.) and also for U.S. Congressman Bob Krueger (D-Texas).

He has also held many other high-level political positions, including: vice chairman of finance for Clinton/Gore in 1995, finance chairman of the 53rd Inaugural Ball, co-chair of the Presidential Gala in 1995-96, and vice-chairman of finance for the DNC in 1996.

According to Trooper Shane Dillard of the Colorado State Patrol, Dutko and two friends were riding mountain bikes down Maroon Creek Road, “when [Dutko] lost control of the bike and struck the pavement with his head.”

Dutko was not wearing a helmet at the time, he said. The accident occurred approximately 6.5 miles up Maroon Creek Road. Authorities estimate that Dutko was traveling between 15 and 20 mph when the accident occurred.

“It was a simple accident that turned serious because he wasn’t wearing a helmet,” Dillard said.

St. Mary’s Hospital officials would not discuss the nature or seriousness of Dutko’s injuries; Trooper Dillard characterized Dutko’s injuries as “very serious.”

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