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August 31, 2012
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Boettcher injured in dirt-bike crash near the Buford Road area

SILT, Colorado - Professional runner Bernie Boettcher of Silt was seriously injured on Aug. 25 when he crashed a dirt-bike he was riding in the Buford Road area north of Silt.

Boettcher, 49, is a frequent competitor, and often a winner, in footraces across the West.

A week before the accident, Boettcher and his running partner, Andy Ames, finished fourth overall and won the master's division in the Trans-Rockies Run. Held annually, it is a staged, six-day, 123-mile endurance race between Buena Vista and Beaver Creek.

The aftermath of the accident - he's recovering from broken bones in his wrist, hand, hip and ankle, as well as sporting two very black eyes and perhaps a broken nose - may keep him out of the running circuit for six months or more. The first event he'll miss is the Imogene Pass Run on Sept. 8.

He'll also not be able to work for perhaps as much as six weeks on the small-project construction work he does between running races.

Recounting the day of the wreck, Boettcher said he put his dirt bike into the back of his pickup and drove to the popular mountain biking and dirt biking terrain north of Harvey Gap Reservoir.

He is not even sure where he was, however, and has not heard from anyone else involved in the accident.

"I think I was on the Buford Road," he said, referring to the gravel road that runs from New Castle to the White River Valley near Meeker.

"I really have no idea what happened," lamented Boettcher on Thursday. "I vaguely remember splattering into a truck, or something. But there's nothing beyond that, and there's very little before it."

His first memory after the wreck, Boettcher said, was being flown by helicopter to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where he spent the day on Sunday, Aug. 26.

Despite being on pain medication, he's able to laugh about the experience as he recovers from several broken bones and a significant concussion.

His girlfriend, Jeanne Blatter, and a circle of others are helping him during the recovery process.

Boettcher discovered a ticket for reckless driving in his backpack when he got home Sunday night - although by Thursday he was not sure which agency wrote the ticket, or even where it was in his house.

He also was unsure of the condition of his dirt bike, which along with his truck was retrieved by friends.

"I really want to see what happened to my bike," he declared adamantly. "Maybe that'll bring back some of my memory."

jcolson@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Aug 31, 2012 12:46AM Published Aug 31, 2012 12:45AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.