Man involved in after-hours sledding crash at Howelsen Hill remains in critical condition |

Man involved in after-hours sledding crash at Howelsen Hill remains in critical condition

Steamboat police suspect alcohol contributed to after-hours incident

Scott Franz
A 25-year-old Steamboat Springs man was critically injured early Saturday morning after sliding down the outrun of Howelsen Hill's HS100 jump run on a snow pad and crashing into a piece of machinery parked at the bottom of the hill.
John F. Russell

— The Steamboat Springs Police Department suspects alcohol contributed to a sledding crash on Howelsen Hill Saturday morning that critically injured a 25-year-old Steamboat man.

Police Chief Cory Christensen said John “Nelson” Kane used a snow pad that protects snow sprinklers to slide down the landing area of the HS100 jump hill just before 3 a.m. Saturday when the park was closed.

Kane then collided with a snowcat that was unoccupied and parked in the area.

Individuals who witnessed the crash called 911 and gave aid to Kane before Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue emergency responders arrived.

Kane was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and then airlifted to Denver Health, where he was listed in critical condition on Monday afternoon.

Christensen said the incident is still under investigation, and those involved could face charges because the ski hill was closed to visitors at the time of the crash.

“From our initial investigation, it’s looking like they were there against the rules and against signs telling them not to do what they were doing,” Christensen said.

He said everyone involved live in the Steamboat area.

Major sledding accidents have happened before at the ski areas in Steamboat Springs.

In February 1996, a 26-year-old man who moved here from New York died in a sledding accident at Steamboat Ski Area after he used a bumper pad as a sled on the SeeMe run just before 3 a.m. The man crashed into a padded boundary post near the Storm Meadows Condominiums.

According to Steamboat Today archives, the coroner at the time indicated that alcohol was involved in that fatal accident.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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