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Vail, CO, May 31–A skier who crashed into andfractured the skull of a snowboarder taking a lesson on Vail Mountain twoand a half years ago was sentenced Friday to two years of probation inJuvenile Court in Eagle County. According to Eagle County Judge RichardHart, the defendant almost got six months in jail, but narrowly escapedwith the plea bargain agreement.
The nationally ranked ski racer, whose name was withheld because the defendant was a juvenile at the time of the accident onDecember 30, 1998, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and wasadditionally ordered to attend the September manslaughter trial of NathanHall, whose April 1997 ski collision at Vail resulted in the death of AlanCobb of Denver.
The victim, 14-year-old Steven Wilbur of Coffeyville, Texas, was taking alesson on an intermediate slope when the defendant came over a knoll athigh speed, hitting Wilbur. The defendant broke his back in the collisionbut went for help. Wilbur, who has since recovered from his physicalinjuries but testified that his memory and learning skills have beenimpaired, was in a coma following the accident. He suffered multiple skullfractures, a punctured lung, an eye injury and gash in his leg that needed300 stitches.