Skiing accident leaves Silt teen in coma
January 4, 2004
A Silt teen is in a coma and in serious condition at the intensive care unit St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction following a ski accident at Snowmass ski area Dec. 23.
Bobby Layman, 16, took a jump at the terrain park on the Coney Glade ski run at around 2 p.m. the day before Christmas Eve, according to Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle.
Family friend Katie Legg, 20, of Silt said her brother, Mike Legg, 15, was skiing with Layman at the time of the accident. She said Mike didn’t see Layman land after the jump, but that Mike talked “to some kids on the lift who saw Bobby land.
“He went off a 25-foot tabletop,” Legg said of the jump. Legg said it looked like Layman was attempting to “do a 360″ ” a full airborne turn. “The kids said he didn’t land on his feet. He landed on his head and his chest.”
Hanle said Layman was unconscious immediately following the accident, but that his vital signs were good. Snowmass ski patrollers evacuated Layman off the mountain, and he was taken by ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital in Aspen.
Shortly after his arrival, Hanle said, Layman was transported by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.
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On Friday, St. Mary’s spokeswoman Kim Williams said Layman was in serious condition, but said she could not comment further.
Katie Legg visited the Layman family in Grand Junction on New Year’s Day. Legg and Layman’s sister, Katie Layman, 21, are roommates at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Legg said Layman is doing better. He is being treated for a head injury, and has a bruised lung and some stitches on his head, according to Legg. He suffered no broken bones.
“His therapists are really enthusiastic about him,” Legg said. “He’s so strong and healthy.”
Legg said the nurses reported that Layman opened his eyes for about five minutes in the middle of the night last week. He also is responding to sounds and smells.
“The therapists are playing music for him, trying to wake him up,” she said.
Besides being an avid skier, Layman is also a top soccer player. He is a member of the Rifle High School varsity soccer team, which took the Western Slope Class 4-A league championships last season.
Layman’s parents, Robert and Mary Layman, are with their son in Grand Junction.
Legg said the family is receiving numerous phone calls and visitors, but that “it’s overwhelming trying to get information out” about Layman’s condition.
She said although the Laymans appreciate the care and concern, it would be best for people to send cards to the hospital instead of calling or visiting. Flowers are not allowed in the ICU where Layman is staying.
On Friday, Layman’s mother, Mary, wanted to express the family’s appreciation for people’s concern.
“We really, really appreciate the thoughts and prayers,” she said. She also gently cautioned people against coming to the hospital to see Layman.
“There’s flu here in the hospital, and visitors might contract it or take it with them when they leave,” she said. “We’d like everyone to stay healthy and send prayers instead.”
Robert’s sister Cindy Layman said on Friday that friends have set up a fund for Layman at Alpine Bank for people who would like to do something supportive for the Layman family. She said contributions may be made at any Alpine Bank.
Cards can be sent to Bobby Layman, c/o St. Mary’s Hospital, 2635 N. 7th St., Grand Junction, CO 81501.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518