Investigation of Steamboat city manager’s ski accident continues |

Investigation of Steamboat city manager’s ski accident continues

Jon Roberts still unconscious; police expect to see ski patrol report Monday

Jon Roberts
John F. Russell

— A report by the Steamboat Ski Patrol looking into City Manager Jon Roberts’ accident is expected to be reviewed by police Monday.

“There is no evidence to say there was a collision,” Steamboat Springs Police Chief JD Hays reiterated Thur­sday afternoon. “It appears it was single-person accident.”

Hays said a Steamboat police investigator would look at the report and likely interview the person Ski Patrol Director John Kohnke interviewed while he was in Denver on Thursday. Hays said ski area officials told him Thursday that an accident report for police review would be available Monday.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane had not talked to Kohnke on Thursday but said three or four witnesses had been interviewed.

“There is no indication there was a collision,” Lane said. “We still need to gather all the facts, look at all the witness statements … and put that all together before we can definitively say what happened or didn’t happen.”

Lane said more information might be released after Kohnke returns to the office today.

Roberts suffered a broken bone near one of his eyes and cracked or broke some ribs in an accident Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area that has left him unconscious and in critical condition at a Denver hospital.

It still isn’t clear how Rob­erts was hurt. He was found unconscious on the flat area below the intermediate Sitz ski run early Sunday afternoon. The ski run is below the Christie Peak Express lift and above the expert See Me and See Ya runs.

He was wearing a helmet and was not found near any trees. A skier or snowboarder called the ski area’s dispatch after seeing Roberts on the ground Sunday.

Deputy City Manager Wen­dy DuBord has assumed Roberts’ duties in his absence and has been in daily contact with the family. On Thursday, she said Roberts’ wife, LeAnn, told her there was little new to report about his condition, though he seemed to be moving more despite remaining unconscious.

“They talk to him, and he responds to the commands,” DuBord said.

On Wednesday, doctors removed a neck brace after an MRI showed no spinal cord damage.

A Denver Health medical center spokeswoman said Roberts still was listed as critical and that condition would not change Thursday.

The timetable for recovery or change in condition remains unclear.

“They say you gotta be patient,” DuBord said. “This is a head injury.”

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