Rollover accident sends one local teenager on flight for life

Seven high schoolers get relatively lucky

[ By Mark Reaman ]

A car full of local teenagers rolled over several times before settling on its roof Sunday afternoon while traveling back to town on Slate River Road. While one passenger was flown out to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and ultimately to Denver because of her injuries, everyone survived with varying degrees of injuries.

Because everyone involved was a minor, officials could not say much about the accident. Crested Butte Fire Protection District (CBFPD) chief Rob Weisbaum was able to confirm that there was a rollover accident on CR 734 approximately one mile past the Oh Be Joyful campground. The initial call came in about 1:30 in the afternoon. He said Bureau of Land Management rangers who were in the area made the initial call to 9-1-1.

“There were seven patients,” Weisbaum said. “One patient was flown out via helicopter in critical condition. Three patients were transported by ambulance to Gunnison Valley Hospital while three were uninjured or had minor injuries and released to parents. Gunnison EMS assisted by transporting some of the patients.”

The call resulted in a big response from emergency personnel. The CBFPD had 10 members in total: two ambulances, one rescue truck, captain quick response and three standing by in town for backfill should another call occur. Gunnison EMS had three members, Mt. Crested Butte police responded with two officers and Colorado State Patrol responded with one officer.
Other details were not released but apparently not everyone in the vehicle was wearing seatbelts and some were ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. The Mt. Crested Butte police department said Tuesday the accident was under investigation and given that the parties involved were juveniles, information would be limited.

Weisbaum did say the situation was a traumatic one. “This incident is very stressful for the kids involved, both emotionally, physically, and psychologically. The same will affect the parents and it is important during a time like this to try and be supportive and understand that accidents happen whether they were preventable or not,” he said. “It’s time to focus on the healing and if they need someone to talk to, my door is open.”

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