Letter: Community steps up following hit-and-run on slopes | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Community steps up following hit-and-run on slopes

One week ago my husband was involved in a hit-and-run from behind by an out-of-control snowboarder. Following amazing assistance from our Ski Patrol, he had two surgeries under expert care at Yampa Valley Medical, and then was airlifted to Denver where he had two more major surgeries. He has a long haul ahead, at significant financial and emotional cost. 

We hear a lot that, “Steamboat has changed … it is not the same community it used to be.” We moved to Steamboat three years ago. We have built new friendships with amazing people. Our new friends and neighbors have rallied around us this week in amazing ways. (We bragged to our family at home that an Olympic silver medalist dropped everything to shovel out our propane tank.)

New pickleball friends have organized weekly events to cheer up my husband. We often hear complaints that Steamboat is not the same small town it used to be, but for us, this is the most amazing place we have ever lived. We are receiving a great big hug from new friends and neighbors in our town. Steamboat is an amazing place to live with the warmest, most caring people.

We have a problem on our mountain. It’s not unique to Steamboat. Skiers and boarders all over do not seem to understand or respect the “rules of the road.” More than one family we know has been significantly impacted by an out-of-control person on the mountain.

Our family has excellent health insurance. With that, we are now looking at unexpected out-of-pocket expenses close to $20,000. I shudder to think about how major ski accidents financially impact those without excellent insurance. That’s just financial. The devastating impact of traumatic injury to life going forward is significant. My husband did not, thank God, experience any head trauma. However, he will be in rehab for at least 18 months and will need to give up many things he loves. He may not ever ski again. 

We ask resort management to implement two things. One, anyone buying a lift ticket should have to pass a “rules of the ski road” test. Just like driving, there are basic rules that are important to keep us safe on the mountain. Second, the resort should install surveillance cameras around the mountain to find and hold reckless guests accountable, and use Ikon tracking to find the reckless.

Thanks so much to all of you who are supporting us. We are blessed to be part of this amazing community.

Jill Pesceone

Steamboat Springs

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