Pittsfield barber Vilot witness to X Games tragedy
PITTSFIELD -- While Pittsfield resident and Sim's Barber Shop owner Steve Vilot Jr. cut Colten Moore's hair on Jan. 24, Colten was cutting up with his older brother, Caleb.
"Barbershop banter," according to Vilot, who gave hundreds of haircuts to athletes at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., last week.
"Caleb was saying things like, ‘Get a mohawk,' or ‘Shave your head,' " said Vilot, 46. "They're young kids."
It would be one of the last times the Moore brothers would banter. That same day, Caleb Moore, the 25-year-old stunt athlete, was in a violent crash while attempting a back flip on his snowmobile. The skis were caught on the landing area, he went flying over the handlebars and the vehicle rolled over him, according to ESPN.
Though he walked from the scene, Moore was treated for injuries at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., where he later died.
"I was, no kidding, less than 50 yards from where he wrecked," Vilot said.
Moore's death marks the first in the 18 years of the X Games.
Caleb Moore signed up to get his hair cut by Vilot after he saw his brother's trim, said Vilot, who's now back in Pittsfield.
Vilot was one of three barbers at the X Games who were put in different areas to cut hair. He worked in the athlete's lounge, a 30,000-square-foot tent.
Vilot's system to giving hundreds of haircuts to athletes was to go down a list of those who signed up and call them. If they didn't answer, he would skip them and go to the next person on the list. Those who didn't answer would be moved to the list for the next day.
"I knew when I got to [Caleb Moore's] name that he was in the hospital," Vilot said. "I had to skip him."
The barbers who were at the X Games are getting together to do something for Moore's family, "flowers at the minimum, or something," Vilot said.
Colten Moore, 23, was injured in a separate crash the same night as his brother, according to ESPN.
"You really have to appreciate these young guys and what they do," Vilot said. "To hear them talk about a cracked sternum was like you and me talking about a chipped toenail."
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