Top 5 most-read stories last week: Ski area deaths, commissioner’s deed-restricted sale, shipping container removal |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Ski area deaths, commissioner’s deed-restricted sale, shipping container removal

Hugh Carey/Summit Daily News archive
The halfpipe used for a U.S. Grand Prix competition is pictured Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at Copper Mountain.
Hugh Carey/Summit Daily News archive

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on from March 19-25.

1. Two tourists die after sledding halfpipe at Copper Mountain Resort on Sunday night

A pair of spring vacationers from Illinois died in a sledding accident Sunday night at Copper Mountain Resort, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene around 8:35 p.m. Emergency medical services treated the two boys, but they could not be revived and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The 17- and 18-year-old boys reportedly rode tandem down the halfpipe and launched off a large snowbank at the bottom before coming down hard on ice, causing blunt force trauma. Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in a phone interview that the boys were on plastic sleds. He said a witness immediately called 911 to report the incident and that an investigation remains ongoing.

Ryan Spencer

2. An Illinois man is dead after falling from chairlift at Breckenridge Ski Resort

A skier is dead after falling from a chairlift at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Friday, March 17.

John Perucco, 60, of Elgin, Illinois, was pronounced dead at St. Anthony’s Summit Hospital in Frisco after the fall, the Summit County Coroner’s Office said in an email. Perucco was reportedly wearing a helmet when he fell from the lift.

Perucco had not yet reached Tower 1 of Zendo Chair when he fell approximately 25 feet before landing on a hard-packed, groomed trail below, according to an email from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. The department was reportedly notified around 11:20 a.m. of a death at the emergency room.

The investigation determined the “male had fallen off of the chairlift as he was attempting to remove snow from the seat surface,” according to the Sheriff’s Office, which added that the restraint bar was in the up position.

Ryan Spencer

3. ‘There were a lot of rumors’: Breckenridge officials have approved a Summit County commissioner’s deed-restricted home sale after disputing personal items sold in tandem deal

Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence was approved to sell her deed-restricted home this month after Breckenridge town officials originally disputed attempts to sell personal items for $25,000 — a price they deemed too high. 

Following a series of changes to Lawrence’s personal property listing, which included removing a few items that officials said needed to be sold with the home, town officials and Lawrence said they arrived at an amicable resolution that allowed the commissioner to sell her appreciation-capped Wellington neighborhood property. 

Lawrence said she hired a broker to publicly list her home and documented the sale of her belongings to avoid any appearance of secrecy around what became a coveted property for buyers.

As Lawrence engaged in a back-and-forth process with Breckenridge officials to resolve the dispute, allegations that she was abusing the deed-restricted process swirled. 

Robert Tann

4. ‘Bob’s Dollar Store’: Frisco to remove local man’s eccentrically decorated shipping container

All manner of knick-knacks hang from a wood-paneled shipping container extending beyond the edge of Bob Kessler’s property on the Galena Street Alley in Frisco. 

A red children’s bicycle sits above the entrance. Metal fencing decorates the edge of the roof. Old bottles, birdhouses, antique snowshoes and a sign that reads, “Just Another Day In Paradise” hang from the side.

But, on Friday, March 17, Kessler — who said he has been a resident of Frisco for 25 years — began removing the eccentric ornaments piece by piece. After two years of back-and-forth with the town, a municipal court judge ordered Frisco to remove the shipping container and have it sold at a sheriff’s sale.

“What I’m going to have to do is gut this because they’re going to get nothing,” Kessler said. “They’re going to get an empty shipping container with a bunch of holes in it. They’re going to sell it, and I don’t get any of the proceeds, which is OK — I guess.”

Ryan Spencer

5. Summit County Coroner’s Office identifies Illinois teenagers killed in sledding accident Sunday at Copper Mountain Resort

The Summit County Coroner’s Office has identified the two spring vacationers from Illinois who died in a sledding accident at Copper Mountain Resort on Sunday night.

Drew Fehr, 17, and Dylan Bozzell, 18, both of Fairbury, Illinois, were seniors at Prairie Central High School and teammates on the high school basketball and football teams, according to David Rossi, a county spokesperson.

Students, staff, counselors, coaches and friends of the two boys, gathered Monday at the First Baptist Church in Fairbury to grieve together, according to reports from the Pontiac Daily Leader.

Prairie Central School District Superintendent Paula Crane remembered the two boys as “great students, talented athletes, and most importantly amazing people,” in an email to the Summit Daily News.

Ryan Spencer

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