Accident injures Pitkin County deputy |

Accident injures Pitkin County deputy

John ColsonAspen Correspondent

Rescue workers from the Basalt Fire Department had to extricate a Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy from his patrol vehicle Saturday, after it slammed into a steel light pole at the intersection of Highway 82 and Upper Two Rivers Road (at the eastern end of town).Deputy Jeff Lumsden, 41, of Carbondale, has been sent to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver for treatment of several broken bones. His wife, Karen, works as an airline stewardess and reportedly was out of the country at the time.Lumsden was driving a Chevy Tahoe downvalley on Highway 82 when he apparently fell asleep, swerved off the road and into the light pole, according to Basalt Police Sgt. Joe Chavira.”There were no skid marks,” Chavira reported, and no other vehicle was involved in the accident, which happened at about 4 p.m. on July 10.Sheriff Bob Braudis, who said he spent several hours with Lumsden at Valley View Hospital before Lumsden was airlifted to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, said Lumsden was “very awake, very coherent” as the two talked.”His injuries are mostly skeletal,” Braudis said. Lumsden apparently suffered several broken bones from the impact.Chavira said Lumsden was wearing a seat belt, and that the airbag in the Tahoe did deploy.”He’s been with me since the beginning,” said Braudis, noting Lumsden’s long tenure with the Sheriff’s Department, since the 1980s. “He’s a wonderful deputy. I’m grateful he wasn’t injured more than he was. It could have been a lot worse.”Chavira said the incident is being investigated by his department.

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