A snowboarder was found guilty of leaving the scene of a collision that killed a skier at Eldora in 2021.
Nicholas Keith Martinez, 29, of Wellington, was found guilty Tuesday of leaving the scene of a skiing or snowboarding crash, a petty offense, in connection with the death of Ron LeMaster.
Following the trial, Martinez was sentenced to a $500 fine and costs, as well as 40 hours of community service to be completed within 90 days.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. LeMaster who was tragically killed in this ski collision at the Eldora Mountain resort on Nov. 30, 2021,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Christine Rinke said in a statement. “Mr. Martinez was convicted of leaving the scene of that collision without giving his identifying information to authorities, which is required by law. Due to the quick actions of Eldora ski patrol, Mr. Martinez was later located, identified and prosecuted.
“The offense is a petty offense under the law, but this sentence reflects the aggravated circumstances around Mr. Martinez’s actions in leaving the scene of the crash. Although Mr. Martinez had also sustained injuries, the jury agreed that those injuries did not excuse his conduct in leaving the scene of the collision. We appreciate the jury’s service.”
According to investigators, Martinez collided with LeMaster on the Eldora ski run known as “Windmill” on Nov. 30, 2021.
LeMaster, 72, of Boulder, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a decision letter from the Boulder County Deputy District Attorney’s Office, Martinez left the scene of the crash, though it is not known whether he was aware of LeMaster’s injuries.
“Mr. Martinez failed to remain at the scene after the collision,” the letter read. “One might argue that his leaving the scene was due to the significant head injury that he suffered. As you will recall, he was observed to be bleeding from his nose and mouth, disoriented and determined to have a concussion. Failure to remain … is a strict liability offense, though.”
Colorado statute states, “No skier involved in a collision with another skier or person in which an injury results shall leave the vicinity of the collision before giving his or her name and current address to an employee of the ski area operator or a member of the ski patrol, except for the purpose of securing aid for a person injured in the collision.”
Prosecutors did determine that no more serious charges, including manslaughter, were appropriate. Investigators said there was no evidence Martinez was snowboarding recklessly or while heavily intoxicated.