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Todd Crane; Mountain Climber Despite Illness

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Todd Crane, a 20-year-old from Pacific Palisades who pursued mountain climbing and skiing despite suffering from cerebral palsy, was killed over the weekend in a climbing accident in Colorado.

The son of former federal prosecutor Richard P. Crane Jr., Todd Crane had unfastened his harness to untwist a rope above him when he slipped and fell Friday afternoon on a mountain in Gunnison, Colo., family friends said.

Todd Crane was about to begin his sophomore year at the Colorado School of Mines, where he had discovered climbing and joined the school’s mountain rescue team.

Dick Traweek, a family friend, said Crane led him to safety after he found himself stuck at the top of a steep ski trail during a recent outing. “That was just the way he was,” Traweek said.

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As a child, Crane nearly died of his illness. But he survived and developed himself physically and mentally, said former Los Angeles Rams General Manager Donald Klosterman, who befriended the young man and worked with his father.

Klosterman recalled a poem he read at Crane’s high school graduation party: “Some people walk into your life and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave their footprints on your heart, and we’re never, ever the same.”

Richard Crane Jr., his father, headed an organized crime strike force in Los Angeles in the 1970s and now is an attorney in private practice in Santa Monica.

Services will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi parish in Pacific Palisades.

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