Snowboarder claims he was hit by snowmobile |

Snowboarder claims he was hit by snowmobile

Chad Abraham

ASPEN – Chris Robinette says he went from preparing for a small jump on his snowboard to thinking he was going to die Friday at Snowmass. Speaking from his room at Aspen Valley Hospital, the 22-year-old Basalt resident said an Aspen Skiing Co. employee on a snowmobile ran him over. His leg and kneecap were broken. He was rushed into surgery and now faces weeks of rehab and crutches, he said.Company officials did not return messages to the Aspen Times Monday. Robinette said a company official called him Monday to apologize, but there has been no offer to pay his medical bills. Robinette said he hopes to speak with a lawyer soon. The accident happened around 2:15 p.m. near the top of the Alpine Springs lift, when, Robinette said, he was making his final run of the day. “I was going to go home to do some taxes,” he said.He entered a patch of small hills, or rollers, preparing for a jump, he said. “Just as I was lining up for my jump, not even 10 feet away from where I was going to hit my jump, a snowmobile came right over the top of the rise,” he said. “It just took me out.”He estimated the snowmobile was traveling at 10 to 15 mph. The driver had to get off the machine and roll it off him, Robinette said. “I felt my tibia break in my boot,” Robinette said. “That wasn’t very pleasant. I had about one second [before the crash] when the one thought that passed through my head was ‘I’m dead.'”John Timmerman, a Tampa Bay, Fla., resident who witnessed the accident, said it happened quickly.”I saw the snowmobile going up, and the next thing I know the snowmobile was turned on its side and the snowboarder [was] laying down screaming,” he said.He saw Robinette’s right leg “awkwardly laying to the right, half under the snowmobile. His leg was all mangled up.”Robinette was scheduled to check out of the hospital Monday.Vail, Colorado

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