Top 5 stories on, week of Sept. 1

r. Christine Ebert-Santos consults a paper and discusses high-altitude health and living at the Ebert Family Clinic on Thursday, Aug. 29, in Frisco.
Liz Copan /

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. Suspect identified in fatal Colorado Highway 9 crash near Blue River

The suspect involved in a fatal crash on Colorado Highway 9 that killed two Summit County residents last week has been identified as 31-year-old Lindsey Leigh Ward, according to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. On the evening of Friday, Aug 30, a pair of Summit County residents identified as Benjamin Mitton and Nichole Gough were killed after a suspected drunken driver veered into the wrong lane, causing a head-on collision.

After the accident, Ward was taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center for treatment. At the hospital, troopers attempted to run Ward through voluntary roadside maneuvers but reported that she struggled to follow instructions, was unstable on her feet and needed to hold her arms out to avoid falling over. The results of a blood tests, analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, are expected to take “several weeks” before being completed. Ward is scheduled to make an appearance on bond at the Summit County Justice Center on Oct. 9.

— Sawyer D’Argonne

2. Pushing the limit: Understanding the body’s performance at high elevation

Altitude sickness, is caused by hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in body tissue. Understanding hypoxia is the key to unlocking many mysteries of human health at elevation, including why so many people who live at high elevation are able to thrive.

In this first part of the Summit Daily News’ annual Longevity Project series, we explore how high altitude affects the biological and physiological processes, what performance gains the human body can experience after spending enough time at high altitude, and why some people — especially endurance athletes — thrive here.

— Deepan Dutta

3. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area readies snow guns. Loveland Ski Area, Keystone Resort not far behind

The race is on among the high-elevation ski areas in Summit County to open for the 2019-20 ski season.

Keystone Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Continental Divide neighbor Loveland Ski Area all teased the start of snowmaking on social media Wednesday and Thursday.

Snow guns are already positioned on the frontside runs at A-Basin and will be tested in the next few days, weather permitting. 

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Summit Water Rescue Team recovers lost wedding ring from Lake Dillon

The Summit County Water Rescue Team went above and beyond to help out a community member last month, when a long-time boater at the Frisco Bay Marina had his wedding ring slip off his finger and into the lake. Luckily, 10 days later, the dive team was able to recover it — something Summit County Sheriff’s Office special operations Sgt. Mark Watson called a “one in a million” find.

The team went to the marina Aug. 22 with a special underwater camera and was able to locate the ring 16 feet under the surface and mark it with washers lined with marking tape to help locate it again once divers were available. Divers arrived Aug. 27 and retrieved the ring.

Nonemergent situations can provide valuable practice for the team for when real problems arise.

Sawyer D’Argonne

5. Frisco adopts Housing Helps program, which would pay homeowners to add deed restrictions to their units

Frisco Town Council adopted a new initiative called the Frisco Housing Helps program during its most recent meeting last week, a move meant to preserve the existing stock of workforce housing units in town.

The resolution, which authorizes town staff to implement the program, passed in a split 5-1 vote. Once implemented, the town can provide homeowners or buyers a cash incentive to put a deed restriction on their house that would simply restrict occupancy of the unit to individuals working an average of 30 hours a week in the Ten Mile Basin. The deed restriction wouldn’t carry any other constraints, such as AMI limits, appreciation caps or resale price caps.

The town will fund the program using its 5A revenue, and the amount given to each person participating in the program will be determined by a number of factors, including the current market conditions, how well the property meets current community needs (size, location and access to transit among others), comparing similar market-rate and deed-restricted properties to determine the impact of the restriction, and the amount requested from the participant. 

Sawyer D’Argonne

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