Woman in Aspen bike crash suffers brain injury
A 59-year-old woman who crashed her bicycle near No Problem Bridge on Tuesday suffered a serious brain injury, though her prognosis is positive, her companion said Friday.
“All signs are looking good,” Mark Hesselschwerdt said of his girlfriend, Nadine Adamson. “We’re praying she’s going to be OK.”
Adamson, a Denver real estate agent who has been battling cancer in recent months, was riding Hesselschwerdt’s townie bike home from City Market about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday when something went wrong, he said. Adamson has been staying at Hesselschwerdt’s home in Aspen near Smuggler Mountain while she recovers from chemotherapy treatments she received this summer, he said.
Tim Kurnos, an account manager at The Aspen Times, witnessed the crash and said he saw Adamson come down the Neale Street hill from Main Street. However, just before the bridge, the bike began to sway uncontrollably, he said. Kurnos called it a “death wobble.”
Adamson, who had groceries in a basket at the back of the bike, tried to right the bike but could not and hit the pavement face first, Kurnos said.
Immediately, two men who’d been at Herron Park ran over and called 911, he said.
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Todaro, who responded to the scene, said an Aspen police officer drove the ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital so both paramedics could tend to Adamson. Todaro also said there was “a significant amount of blood” on the street afterward.
Hesselschwerdt, a local contractor who’s lived in Aspen for 45 years, said a friend of his at the scene recognized Adamson and alerted him to the situation. He then went to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed Adamson with a traumatic brain injury and sent her to Denver in a helicopter.
In addition to the brain injury, Adamson suffered facial fractures and cranial fractures, Hesselschwerdt said. She remains in intensive care at St. Anthony Hospital in Denver, where she is able to respond to simple instructions like squeezing a hand, but cannot see because her eyes are swollen shut, and cannot speak, he said.
Still, doctors are optimistic that Adamson will make a full or nearly full recovery, Hesselschwerdt said.
Hesselschwerdt said he frequently rides the bike Adamson crashed and never had any problems.
In a letter to The Aspen Times, Hesselschwerdt thanked the people at Herron Park who helped Adamson as well as the law enforcement officers, paramedics and hospital staff.
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