Family members say James Melvin "on the mend’ |

Family members say James Melvin "on the mend’

SILVERTHORNE – James Melvin, who was in a drug-induced coma for more than two weeks after a March 23 car crash, is conscious, talking and recognizes his family members.

“He’s on the mend,” said his mother, Mary Jo. “We had him laughing the other night. He’s getting back to himself.”

The 37-year-old Melvin, a lifelong Summit County resident who works as a mechanic for the town of Silverthorne, crashed his Eagle Talon into a state highway front-end loader during the early morning hours of March 23. Many of the bones on his left side, including his arm, femur, tibia and shoulder, were shattered, and one of his lungs collapsed. The bones have been reset, and he was recently removed from a ventilator.

“We’re sleeping a lot better at night,” said Melvin’s brother, Eric. “There’s a big weight that’s been lifted off our shoulders.

“The last three days have been pretty crucial. He knows what day it is, what month it is and who’s talking to him. Physically, he’s strong. He’s ready to move, but they want to keep him still so he doesn’t hurt himself.”

Melvin directs the county’s Pee Wee wrestling program and is assistant coach of the Summit High School wrestling team.

His condition has been updated from critical to serious. Melvin is a patient at St. Anthony’s Central in Denver.

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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