Steve Karafa, 40, president of Acopa rock shoes, was killed in a car accident that occurred the night of Aug. 13, following the close of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Famed climber John Bachar, 49, was also seriously injured and Bachar’s girlfriend, Anastasia Frangos, 33, suffered minor injuries.
According to reports, Bachar was driving a Toyota 4Runner westbound on US 93, about 33 miles north of Ely, Nev., at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Apparently, he drifted onto the shoulder, overcorrected to the left, crossed both lanes and the car rolled when it hit the opposite shoulder. No drugs or alcohol were involved.
Karafa was ejected from the rear seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. Bachar, who was airlifted to William B. Ririe hospital in Ely, fractured four vertebrae in his spine, but is expected to make a full recovery and should be released in a few days. Frangos, who comforted Karafa as he passed, was taken by ambulance to the same hospital.
Acopa International LLC started in 2003 when Bachar, Karafa and Dario Piana combined forces to modernize the existing shoe factory in Guadalajara, Mexico. Bachar, who had developed the Boreal rock shoes for many years, brought credibility to a struggling line. In just a short time, Acopa began to win a strong following for its high-performance rock shoes.
Prior to forming Acopa, Karafa had worked as the retail manager at the Touchstone Climbing gyms and as a manager at REI. An ardent climber, he was also known for his love of fly-fishing and golf. A UC Berkeley graduate, he was also an avid California football fan. At the Acopa booth, he was always surrounded by friends sharing laughs.
SNEWS View®: SNEWS® extends its heartfelt condolences to Karafa’s family, his longtime partner, Sarah, and everyone at Acopa.