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Snowboarder out of hospital after Letterman stunt

Comedian: Ordeal has 'happy ending'

From Shannon Troetel

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David Letterman
Ed Sullivan
Manhattan (New York)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The snowboarder who was injured while performing a stunt for the "Late Show with David Letterman" was released from the hospital Friday -- which Letterman called a "happy ending" to an otherwise harrowing ordeal.

Tara Dakides, a gold medalist on the ESPN Winter X Games circuit, fell 25 feet Thursday onto the pavement while attempting the stunt outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, where the show is taped.

Her publicist, Steven Astephen, said Dakides is in good spirits after suffering a slight head injury that required stitches.

During his Friday show taping, Letterman said, "There's just nobody better on a snowboard than this woman."

"She's fine and she's going to go back to her career, and so what looked like just a horrific, miserable tragedy yesterday in fact has a happy ending," he said.

In his monologue, Letterman joked that "Tonight's bungee jump off the Ed Sullivan Theater building has been canceled."

He added that "there hasn't been a jump that ill-advised since I moved from NBC to CBS."

Astephen said Dakides has been laughing about all the attention the accident has received, and appreciates the calls from the public and the media.

Dakides told her publicist that the fall was a complete "fluke" and that she can't believe it happened on what she considered an easy jump.

"It was supposed to be a slam-dunk for her," Astephen said.

According to Astephen, the problem was not Dakides' fault, it was "mother nature's fault, mother nature was not cooperating."

Dakides told Astephen that the snow had melted slightly and was softer than it had been during rehearsals. That made her snowboard shift to the left, and caused her to fall off the ramp and onto the street.

Dakides is scheduled to appear on Monday's show but will not perform any stunts.

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