Victim in downtown Aspen hit-and-run slowly recovering in Denver
Basalt resident Dave Rossi suffered broken pelvis, head injury in Dec. 21 incident on Main Street
Basalt resident Dave Rossi, who was the victim of a hit and run while he was walking across Main Street last month, is being released from St. Anthony Hospital in Denver on Tuesday and is facing a long road of recovery.
He confirmed Monday that doctors have cleared him to leave the hospital after being there for three weeks. He said he will rehabilitate for the next month and a half at his brother’s house and in physical therapy on the Front Range.
Rossi suffered a head injury that landed him in the intensive care unit for two days after being helicoptered from Aspen Valley Hospital shortly after the incident, which occurred just before midnight on Dec. 21.
His pelvis was shattered in several places, requiring a six-and-a-half-hour surgery with a half dozen doctors.
“It’s cracked everywhere; it looks like a jigsaw puzzle,” he said from his hospital room on Sunday.
He was moved from inpatient care to the rehabilitation floor on Friday, where he was learning how to use a walker and go to the bathroom on his own.
He can’t put any weight on his right leg, which was what took the biggest hit from the Land Rover SUV that 18-year-old Spencer Diamond of Aspen was allegedly driving.
She allegedly left the scene and was arrested the next day by Aspen Police after video footage revealed details of the vehicle she was driving.
She posted a $3,000 cash-only bond almost immediately after being booked in the county jail.
Diamond was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury — a felony — and misdemeanor charges of failure to notify police of an accident, as well as careless driving causing bodily injury.
Rossi, who was walking toward Rubey Park to catch the bus home, said he remembers nothing about the incident.
“I remember waking up in the hospital and them saying, ‘You’ve been hit by a car and are going into surgery,'” he said on Sunday. “I’m glad I don’t remember.”
It will be at least a month and a half before he can put any weight on his right leg and much longer to be able to walk on his own.
Despite that, Rossi’s spirits are high.
“Getting better every day,” he said. “It definitely hurts, but I feel good about my recovery.”
Rossi has retained trial attorney Michael Fox of the Aspen law firm Kalamaya Goscha.
“Mr. Rossi is an inspiration to us all,” Fox said in a statement Monday. “He is focusing on staying positive during his long road to recovery. We are grateful that he has placed his trust in our firm as we help him navigate the justice system.”
Diamond, who is the daughter of affluent Aspenite Sue Hostetler married to billionaire William Wrigley Jr., has retained Denver criminal defense attorney Kate Stimson of Stimson Stancil LaBranche Hubbard law firm.
Stimson did not return a phone message seeking comment on Monday.
Diamond is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday in Pitkin County Court on another careless driving causing bodily injury charge.
She made a U-turn on Highway 82 last July without paying attention to other traffic, according to deputy district attorney Don Nottingham.
She didn’t show up to court to face that charge on Oct. 19 and has been charged with failure to appear, he added.
Diamond is scheduled to make an appearance on bond regarding the Dec. 21 incident Jan. 18.
Rossi said he has no ill will toward Diamond and wants to focus on kindness and healing.
“She definitely needs help,” he said.
The crosswalk that Rossi used to travel across Main Street was in front of the Aspen Police Department building and has flashing crossing lights to indicate a pedestrian is moving through the intersection at Hunter Street.
While Rossi can’t remember the events leading up to the incident, he said he always uses crosswalks and never jaywalks because “Aspen has the worst drivers in the world.”
Rossi, who works at Replay Sports in Aspen, said he hopes to be skiing by next year and is bummed that he has missed the recent storm cycle.
“You all can thank me for the snow,” he joked.
Brad Jasicki, owner of Replay Sports, drove down in one of those snowstorms to visit Rossi in the hospital.
“We had a great visit,” Jasicki said. “He said he was lucky to have landed on his head or he could have been seriously injured; it was priceless to know he is still full of wit.
“We at Replay are hoping for a full recovery so he can resume and continue his active lifestyle.”
Broadcaster Jim Williams of KSPN and KNFO is leaving the valley after eight years of serving as the voice of Aspen, Basalt and Roaring Fork high school’s sports.