Jet ski collision sends one to Front Range hospital
Steamboat Springs — A Steamboat Lake boating accident that sent one person to a Front Range hospital involved two teenagers on jet skis.
The accident was reported at 3:20 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re still in the middle of the investigation,” park manager Julie Arington said Tuesday. “We don’t know 100 percent what happened.”
What they do know is that two jets skis were being driven by a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl. Arington said she believed the teens knew each other, and they were visiting the park with family from the Front Range.
The crash occurred on an area of the lake where boats are allowed to make a wake.
“Basically, they were in an area where they were allowed to be doing what they were doing,” Arington said.
North Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to the accident scene. Fire Chief Mike Swinsick said the 17-year-old girl had traumatic injuries. She was conscious and stable when firefighters took her to Yampa Valley Medical Center. She was then flown by a Classic Air Medical helicopter to a Front Range hospital for more advanced treatment.
The ranger investigating the accident was not working Tuesday. Arington did not know the girl’s name or her condition.
Youth need to be at least 16 to operate a boat in Colorado unless they have taken a boater safety class. In that case, a boat driver younger than 16 has be supervised by a parent. Arington said the 14-year-old boy had taken the class and the boy’s father was in the area.
Arington said boating accidents are not a common occurrence at Steamboat Lake. She believed that is because the lake does not get as much traffic as some other lakes managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“Boat accidents can happen anywhere, but we’re fortunate at Steamboat Lake that we don’t have them frequently,” Arington said.
An investigator who examines boating crashes throughout the state was going to help with the investigation.
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