Monday, June 25, 2018
Public safety

Tampa man killed in Colorado snowboarding accident remembered as kind, adventurous

TAMPA — Joshua B. Allen did it all: racquetball, softball, football, wakeboarding, snowboarding, golf.

He liked to be on the move, seeking out his next adventure.

But his latest excursion, a trip to the Rocky Mountains, ended suddenly Sunday when he was killed in a snowboarding accident on the slopes. Allen was 24.

"He loved life so much," said close friend Kasey Hughes, 24, of Tampa. "I can't explain how much of a tragedy this is."

Allen was put on life support after he was found by the ski patrol in the trees on an intermediate run at Keystone Resort, which is west of Denver, about 11 a.m. Sunday. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he died around 2:30 p.m.

The Summit County, Colo., coroner's office said Allen, who was wearing a helmet, died of massive facial injuries and brain trauma.

Authorities were still investigating the incident Monday.

Allen supported himself while attending the University of Florida by working as a server at an Olive Garden, said his father, Wayne Allen. He seldom asked his parents for a dime, and he graduated in 2009.

Wayne Allen, who lives outside Daytona Beach, said his son's generosity was often on display.

"He was a very giving person," his father said. "If he knew someone had a need, he'd give beyond the need."

Friends mourned Allen's passing and celebrated his life.

"He loved snowboarding," Hughes said. "On Friday, he was saying how excited he was to go snowboarding that weekend."

He also loved the Florida Gators. The only time his friends said they remember seeing him on the couch was when the Gators were playing.

After graduation from UF, he moved to Tampa. A former roommate, Wess McMillan, worked with Allen at PCL, a building and civil infrastructure firm. McMillan said he will remember Allen's warmth and zest for life.

Allen was an "up and coming" field engineer at PCL, responsible for managing the overnight work on the project connecting Interstate 4 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, officials said.

"We will always remember him as a hard-working, kind and thoughtful person," PCL vice president Roger Martin said in a statement. "He will truly be missed by everyone. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with his family."

Joshua Allen called his mother before he left for Colorado. She made him promise to wear a helmet, said his father — and he did.

"It's just devastating," said Wayne Allen, who runs an excavating business .

Joshua Allen had another big adventure on the horizon: He had just accepted an engineering job in Texas, said his father. He knew no one there, but told his father he was excited about the new challenge.

Times researcher John Martin, staff writer Jodie Tillman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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