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Family says Jon Roberts improving

City manager in California hospital after skydiving accident

Pilot & Today staff
Jon Roberts
John F. Russell

The family of Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts said his condition is improving at a California hospital after a skydiving accident Saturday.

Lauren Mooney, assistant to Roberts at City Hall, said she spoke with Roberts’ wife, LeAnn Roberts, on Monday afternoon and heard good news.

“It’s turning for the better,” Mooney said about Roberts’ condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif. “They’re looking toward recovery.”

Roberts was listed in serious condition Sunday night at the hospital, after a Saturday skydiving accident near Perris, Calif.

Roberts’ main parachute failed to open during a skydive Saturday, and his emergency chute didn’t open until he was near the ground, Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs President Mike Forney said Sunday. Roberts is a Rotarian, and Forney said he spoke with LeAnn Roberts on Sunday evening.

Mooney said LeAnn told her that Jon Roberts suffered no broken bones in the accident but damaged the thoracic artery in his chest and had surgery to repair the artery.

Jemellee Ambrose, spokeswoman for Loma Linda University Medical Center, said Monday evening that Roberts’ condition was listed as critical. But Ambrose acknowledged that there is “a fine line between serious and critical,” and that Roberts’ condition may continue to be listed as critical largely because of his location – he remains in the hospital’s critical care unit. Medical privacy laws prohibited Ambrose from releasing more than the one-word condition Monday, but she did speak with medical staff in Roberts’ unit. When asked if the staff’s view of Roberts’ condition was positive overall, Ambrose said, “I think it is.”

Mooney said LeAnn Roberts stressed that her husband is improving. Family members visited him Monday afternoon, Mooney said, and reported that Jon Roberts was talking with them and no longer using a ventilator.

“A lot happened in one day, and they are just thrilled,” Mooney said about the Roberts family. “They are so excited:(injuries) may not be as extensive as they were fearing.”

Mooney said LeAnn Roberts did not provide any additional details about the circumstances of the accident.

Jon Roberts began serving as Steamboat’s top administrator in February, after serving in the same position for the city of Victorville, Calif. He previously told the Steamboat Pilot & Today and At Home magazine about his active lifestyle and passion for activities, including hiking, scuba diving and skydiving.

Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said Monday that she already is assuming city manager roles in Roberts’ absence and is prepared to do so until his return.

“I’m it. I’m always it when he’s out of town,” DuBord said. “Our concern right now is for Jon and his family. :As far as city business is concerned, we’re taken care of.”

Mooney said the Roberts family appreciates the support it has received from the Steamboat Springs community.

“They appreciate all people’s thoughts and prayers, and that our community is thinking about him,” she said.


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