Boarder ‘in bad shape’ after crash
ASPEN – A snowboarder who was in a collision with a snowmobile at Snowmass last week spent the weekend in intensive care, according to friends who were vacationing with him in Snowmass Village.Steve Rath of Largo, Fla., broke seven bones in the accident, said Tammy Lawrence, one of the friends.Lawrence said Rath spent the weekend in intensive care at Aspen Valley Hospital and that he was discharged to a regular room Monday. He was still at the hospital Wednesday night but too heavily medicated to speak.Rath broke his pelvis and a vertebra, and suffered a splinter fracture to one of his legs. He suffered internal bleeding as well, she said”He’s in pretty bad shape,” Lawrence said Wednesday from her home in Florida. “There should be no snowmobiles on a ski trail.”Kristin Rust, spokeswoman for the Aspen Skiing Co., confirmed that the accident happened but could not give many details.”A male snowboarder collided with a snowmobile Saturday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. on Snowmass near the superpipe at The Honda Ski Tour venue,” Rust said in an e-mail. “An Aspen Skiing Company employee was on the snowmobile transporting equipment from the venue to another area. The employee approached the trail, looked uphill, saw the oncoming snowboarder and stopped. The snowboarder then collided with the snowmobile.”Lawrence was not with Rath when the accident happened, but her son, Timothy Chrisman, 17, was. Chrisman could not be reached for comment by Wednesday evening, but Lawrence recounted what her son had told her.Lawrence’s account of the accident differed slightly from the ski company’s. She said the accident happened Friday and that the snowmobile appeared unexpectedly.An agitated Lawrence said she’d just read an account of a 10-year-old girl who fell off the chairlift at Aspen Highlands on Feb. 19, and the two accidents together prompted her to question how safe it is to ski in Aspen.”I’m wondering what their safety record is there,” she said. “It could have been my son.”The nightmare vacation continued for Lawrence and her family when, after her husband grew irate over the accident while staying at their lodge in Snowmass Village, the family was kicked out, she said. They couldn’t find other lodging nearby and ended up finishing their vacation more than 100 miles away in Frisco.”It was just a horrible experience,” she said. “You go on vacation from Florida, and you spend a lot of money, and you think you’re safe.”It’s not clear when Rath will be released to return to Florida or how long it will be until he can work again.”He’s messed up,” said Lawrence, who declined to give details on what Rath does for a living.Rust offered sympathy on behalf of the skiing company in her e-mail: “The entire staff of Aspen Skiing Company sends their best wishes to [Rath].”
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