After a bone-crushing crash, snowboarder sues snowmobiler
pitkin county correspondent
ASPEN ” A snowboarder who broke multiple bones after colliding with a snowmobile on the backside of Aspen Mountain filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Pitkin County District Court, accusing the driver of negligence and hit and run.
Doran Laybourn, 26, of Carbondale, is seeking damages from New Castle resident Roy Reed, 47. Laybourn claims Reed was driving negligently on Jan. 14 when the collision occurred, although the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office concluded it was accidental.
The suit claims Reed cut to the inside of a turn on a road near Hurricane Point on Richmond Ridge. Accounts of the resulting crash vary, as Reed has claimed he was traveling 10 to 15 mph and Laybourn has maintained the snowmobile was going 35 to 40 mph.
Laybourn suffered a broken tibia with 17 fractures, broken fibula, broken cheek bones, broken nose and broken teeth, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Boulder attorney Beth Klein. For nearly two weeks he was in Aspen Valley Hospital because of the wreck.
Reed suffered a concussion, multiple muscle strains and loose teeth. He was eventually hospitalized for four days in Glenwood Springs because of ongoing dizziness, nausea and pain on the right side of his body. He was unable to work for three weeks.
The lawsuit seeks unnamed damages for medical and therapy expenses, non-economic losses such as pain and suffering as well as lost earnings as a professional snowboarder.
Laybourn also seeks damages in a claim that Reed “fled the scene of the accident” and “refused to render assistance.”
After the accident, Reed reportedly said he offered what assistance he could. At the time, Reed apologized and said he felt bad about the injuries Laybourn suffered. However, he was adamant the accident wasn’t his fault.
“I did nothing wrong,” he said at the time.
Deputy Joe Bauer previously has said the sheriff’s office concluded Reed tried to help the victim and took appropriate legal steps after the accident.
“He did render aid,” Bauer said. “It wasn’t what Doran and his friend thought he should do. He did exactly what he was supposed to do.”
Laybourn has previously said justice would be served only if Reed was jailed.
“Actions speaker louder than words,” Laybourn wrote in a statement to the sheriff’s office in January. “The dude that hit me is dangerous, rude, inconsiderate and mean. Protect and serve ” throw him in jail.”
But in his first statements about the incident, Reed said he continues to fight misperceptions that the accident was his fault. There seems to be a natural bias among some people that a snowmobile driver must be in the wrong when involved in an accident with a snowboarder, he said.
Laybourn and his friends portrayed the accident as a hit-and-run.
Said Reed: “That’s not how it went down at all,” he said.
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