May 6th, 2014
10:06 AM ET

Colorado Mother Rescued After 5 Days in Wrecked Car Will Lose Feet

Doctors will amputate the feet of a Colorado woman who was missing for five days before being found in her wrecked car just off a scenic highway, a family spokesman said Monday.

Kristin Hopkins is in critical but stable condition at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Brian Willie said, reading a statement from the Hopkins family.

"Doctors were not able to save her feet due to the severity of her injuries," he told reporters, adding the amputations would be done Monday afternoon.

Hopkins, a 43-year-old single mother of four, was reported missing on April 29. She was found May 4, still in her car, about 140 feet from U.S. 285 just north of Fairplay, the Park County Sheriff's Office said.

he Hopkins' family statement thanked a man who found Hopkins in her car and drove to the sheriff's office to report finding a car with a possible body inside. The man was not identified by authorities, who said he slipped out of the sheriff's office after reporting the accident.

A firefighter who treated Hopkins at the scene said it appeared she had written notes on the white portions of a red and white umbrella and was trying to use it to signal passersby on the highway.

Lt. Jim Cravener, a firefighter with the North-West Fire Protection District in Park County, said, "(The notes) were hard to make it out. One of them appeared to say 'Please help doors won't open.' Another one (said) 'Please help, bleeding, need a doctor' and another one said, 'Six days, no food, no water, please help.'"

Cravener said Hopkins was "really severely dehydrated."

The man who spotted the car had stopped to take photos at the top of a pass near a sharp curve, Cravener said.


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February 18th, 2014
06:30 AM ET

Turbulence on United Flight Causes Injuries to Passengers, Crew Members

Three crew members and two passengers were injured Monday when a United Airlines flight encountered severe turbulence, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

The captain declared an emergency on United Flight 1676, which was flying from Denver, Colorado, to Billings, Montana, said United's Christen Davis. The flight met turbulence as it descended.

"Our primary focus is assisting our employees and passengers who were injured, and our flight safety team will review what happened," the spokeswoman said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot "declared a medical emergency after a flight attendant was injured by turbulence. The plane landed in Billings without incident."

Three flight attendants and two passengers were taken to hospitals, said Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for the airline. All were treated and released except one flight attendant.

There were 114 passengers and five crew members onboard, including passenger Bill Dahlin.

"There was a lot of screaming, a lot of hollering," he told CNN affiliate KTVQ.

Dahlin said one woman hit the ceiling so hard that the ceiling cracked. He said he thought the crew was just as surprised by the sudden turbulence as the passengers were.

"I think they were somewhat panicked," KTVQ reported Dahlin said. "I think they were trying to assess things themselves so they really didn't offer any explanation because of what happened so quickly."

Last month, a United Airlines flight returned to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey after turbulence injured five flight attendants.

The plane hit "severe turbulence" about 45 minutes into the Beijing-bound United Flight 89, said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

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February 4th, 2014
09:56 AM ET

2 Men Sought in Virginia Police Captain's Disappearance

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are searching for two men in connection with the disappearance of a Virginia police captain. Waynesboro police captain Kevin Quick, 45, was last seen leaving his mother's house Friday night on his way to visit a friend 20 miles away, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Gellar.

"There were other pieces of evidence and information we had that made us concerned about his safety right off the bat," Gellar said in a news conference Monday.

Surveillance photographs place Quick's silver 1999 Toyota 4Runner in Fork Union, Virginia, on Friday and in the Manassas area Saturday, before it was recovered abandoned outside of a residence Monday in Louisa County, an hour away from where Quick was last seen. The SUV is being examined by the Virginia State Police.

Photos have surfaced that show two unidentified adult males who investigators believe may have information regarding Quick's disappearance. Photos of one of the persons of interest have been released.

Homeowner Frank Houchens told CNN affiliate WWBT that he called police when found Quick's vehicle in his driveway. He said police from nearby Harrisonburg, Virginia, showed him photos, but he did not recognize the person of interest or Quick.

Gellar said Quick's family had "exhausted all their resources" and that his disappearance was uncharacteristic for the longtime police officer who is described as "an institution with the (Waynesboro) police auxiliary unit."

"We stand here today shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement across the region and Virginia hoping for Kevin's safe return," Waynesboro Police Sgt. Brian Edwards said at the news conference Monday. "He is a generous and loyal friend to many of those who are present here today."

Numerous tips have poured in, according to the Virginia State police, and they along with the FBI, the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, the Albemarle County Police Department, the Charlottesville Police Department, the Waynesboro Police Department, and the Prince William County Police Department are looking into each one, as well as looking for Quick via ground and aerial searches.

Quick is described as a white male, 6 feet 1 inches and weighing approximately 200 pounds. He has brown hair, hazel eyes and medium build. He wears contacts or glasses and has a scar above his left eye.

Several local businesses are offering a reward of up to $8,000 for information that leads to the discovery of Quick.

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January 8th, 2014
10:02 AM ET

Grandson of Vail Resort Co-Founder Killed in Colorado Avalanche

The grandson of one of the Vail ski mecca's co-founders died Tuesday in an avalanche that also trapped - temporarily - three others, county authorities said.

Anthony "Tony" Seibert, 24, died in backcounty outside the ski boundaries of Vail Mountain - the Colorado resort area that his grandfather, Peter Seibert Sr., co-founded - according to officials in Eagle County.

"He was always an uplifting person and cheerful," said Scott Klumb, Seibert's friend of about 7 years who posted a tribute video onlinehours after his death. "...He was always goofing around or getting other people excited and just making them happy."

The three others also trapped in the snow were rescued without major injuries. In fact, none of them had to be transported to a hospital, instead leaving the area on their own, Vail Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Lindsay Hogan said.

The incident occurred in the East Vail Chutes roughly 90 miles west of Denver, with authorities first being alerted around 11:30 a.m., according to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Vail resort's master development plan, "The East Vail Chutes is an extremely steep, avalanche-prone bowl that drains down to Interstate 70 or to East Vail."

The avalanche occurred near the tree line "in backcountry wilderness where they do not have avalanche control," explained Ethan Greene of the state-run Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

"This (avalanche) was most likely triggered by the people who got caught in it," Greene said.

Two of those caught in the avalanche were on skis, the other two were on snowboards, according to Jessie Mosher of the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. She did not know what Seibert was doing.

On a scale of 1 (least dangerous) to 5, the prospective avalanche rating around Vail was a 3, the rate around which most incidents like this happen, explained Greene, especially if people get fooled by otherwise nice conditions.

"Today was apparently a beautiful day up in Vail," Greene added, "and therefore would be an appealing day to be out in the backcountry."

Seibert is the second person to die in an avalanche this season in Colorado. The other incident happened on December 31 on Parkview Mountain, west of Willow Creek Pass.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center noted there have been at least five such fatalities nationwide, including a snowmobiler killed on New Year's Day in Big Sky, Montana.

Tony Seibert's grandfather was a legend in skiing, business and state circles, as evidenced by his inductions into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard and Colorado Business halls of fame, among many other honors.

A soldier injured multiple times during World War II while with the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, the Sharon, Massachusetts, native moved to Colorado after the war, working at Aspen and making the 1950 U.S. ski team. After studies in resort management in France and Switzerland, he and fellow ski buff Earl Eaton scaled the top of the then-unnamed mountain that would become Vail in 1957 and opened it up as a ski area five years later.

Peter Seibert Sr. served as the first president of Vail Associates and maintained a leading role for several decades, during which time Vail became one of America's biggest and most renowned ski resorts. He died in July 2002 at the age of 77.

The Seiberts are an institution in Vail. Seibert was proud of this fact and his grandfather's legacy, recently appearing in the documentary "Climb to Glory" about the 10th Mountain Division's famed ski troopers.

"This is a shocking and terrible tragedy," Vail COO Chris Jarnot said, lamenting the end to Seibert's "wonderful albeit tragically too short life." "This is an incomprehensible loss, and we will support the Seibert family and our community through this difficult time."

Seibert himself was heading into his final semester at the University of Colorado at Boulder at the time of his death, according to Klumb. He had his deep love for the Centennial State literally imprinted on him, in the form of a lone tattoo of the Colorado state flag cast in front of the Rocky Mountains.

A superb freestyle skier, Seibert eventually gravitated toward the backcountry - whether it was skiing, snowshoeing or hiking - his friend said.

So what might Seibert want people to learn from his own tragic death? Klumb surmised that it's that the backcountry should both be loved and be respected.

"What Tony would want ... is for others to be careful in the backcountry," he said. "As exciting as it may look, you have to take the proper precautions."

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