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Tara Dakides stunt goes awry during 'Letterman'
Sunday, 08 February 2004





Top-ranked snowboarder Tara Dakides was performing a stunt for "The Late Show with David Letterman" when she went off course on a custom-made ramp Thursday night and flew 25 feet in the air before landing on the pavement, witnesses said.

Tara Dakides, 28, who has competed nationally and internationally, was rushed to Bellevue Medical Center, where she was admitted in stable condition, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Dakides had already taken two runs down the custom-made ramp on West 53rd Street before veering off the side on an angle, jolting audience members and witnesses.

"I was so stunned when I saw it because she swore loudly as she was coming down the ramp, probably knowing she wasn't going to make it, but I didn't know if it was supposed to happen," said witness David Riddle, 38. "And then everyone started to go crazy because she wasn't moving."

Witnesses said Letterman promptly ran out of the Ed Sullivan Theater and stood over her as emergency workers loaded Dakides into an ambulance.

Show executive producer Rob Burnett issued a statement: "As a result of the accident, 'The Late Show' will air a repeat episode tonight. We hope Tara makes a full and complete recovery and that she'll be back on 'The Late Show' soon."

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