Top 5 stories on, week of Sept. 8

A patient is evacuated from the top of Quandary Peak by Summit County Rescue Group volunteers. Matt Parker, a member of the Summit County Rescue Group and an emergency medical technician, said he has responded to cases involving HAPE, a serious respiratory condition that is caused by excess fluid accumulation in the lungs as a response to hypoxic, or low oxygen, environments.
Courtesy Summit County Rescue Group

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

1. Breckenridge woman dies after suffering seizure, falling into Blue River

A Breckenridge woman died last week after falling into the Blue River late last month.

The woman, identified as 31-year-old Alicia Weiss, is thought to have fallen into the river after suffering a seizure Aug. 30. She died Sept. 5 after being removed from life support.

“Everyone who knew and loved Alicia will miss that cheeky smile that lit up the room,” friend Jessi Elledge said. “She will be dearly missed by more people than she could ever imagine, but she made an impact on so many.”

Danielle Weiss said her sister was full of life and energy, and enjoyed snowboarding, being outdoors and traveling. Her adventures took her all over from Dubai to South Africa to Mexico.

— Sawyer D’Argonne

2. Man in custody following police chase, fiery crash on I-70

Police arrested a man following a pursuit on Interstate 70 that ended in a crash near the Eisenhower Tunnel on Monday night. The suspect was identified as Valeriy Sergeyevich Statovoy.

Police report they observed Statovoy make an “erratic” U-turn on Highway 9 before briefly stopping at the red light, running the light and continuing onto the eastbound I-70 on-ramp. A pursuit began when an officer attempted to make a traffic stop, with speeds reaching up to 100 mph. The suspect made it through the Eisenhower Tunnel before he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Statovoy allegedly then hopped the median and ran across the westbound lanes of traffic before eventually surrendering. Dispatch informed officers that the car Statovoy was driving was reported stolen earlier out of Glenwood Springs.

— Sawyer D’Argonne

3. Living at altitude: Exploring the effects on mountain town residents

One of the longest-living and healthiest populations in the country, Summit County’s 30,000 residents still face the known and unknown health challenges of living at altitude long term. Many high elevation health dangers predominantly impact two of the community’s most vulnerable populations: children and the elderly. But a newly diagnosed respiratory condition is affecting mountain residents of all ages, even those who have lived here for a long time.

There has been relatively little longitudinal research on populations living at high altitude, so there are few definite answers about the effects on long-term health. As part of our Longevity Project series, this story explores some proven health benefits of living at high elevations, along with the negative health impacts and conditions that living at altitude or traveling to altitude can cause at any age.

— Deepan Dutta

4. Summit County law firm reaches $750,000 settlement in Vail ski collision case

Nearly two years after a collision at Vail Mountain, Paulina Romero Labra received $750,000 in damages after the case was settled ahead of a scheduled jury trial, according to a news release.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident Dec. 8, 2017, when Labra, of Mexico, and Craig Michel, of Virginia, collided on Lower Lion’s Way trail. Labra’s left humerous was shattered in the crash, and she required surgery to place hardware in her shoulder followed by rehabilitation, according to the release.

In working toward the settlement, Labra’s attorneys argued Michel “failed to maintain his speed and course and failed to maintain a proper lookout” ahead of the crash, a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act.

“We were clearly able to prove that Mr. Michel was 100% at fault for the ski collision,” attorney Joseph D. Bloch said in a news release. “As a result, Mr. Michel’s insurance company offered a substantial amount to settle the case to avoid going to trial.”

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

5. Copper Mountain Resort to host Dew Tour next two winters, beginning in February

This winter’s Dew Tour will be in Summit County after all — just on the other side of Tenmile Canyon.

Copper Mountain Resort will host the Winter Dew Tour ski and snowboard competition and festival Feb. 6-9. Copper Mountain also will host Dew Tour during the 2020-21 season thanks to a new partnership between the resort, Mountain Dew and Adventure Sports Network Group.

Relocating to Copper Mountain is the first move for the Winter Dew Tour in more than a decade, after the event took place for the past 11 years at Breckenridge Ski Resort, most recently in December 2018.

— Antonio Olivero

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