A ‘surreal’ crash still reverberates in Avon | VailDaily.com

A ‘surreal’ crash still reverberates in Avon

Nancy Lofholm
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado

Rick Spitzer/Special to the DailyA young Avon couple was able to escape from their sport-utility vehicle after a truck's trailer landed on it last Sunday on Avon Road.

AVON, Colorado – That Sunday morning was as ordinary as can be in offseason Avon. Until, as witnesses put it, a truck fell from the sky.

The truck’s driver died, but the two occupants of a sport-utility vehicle it crushed miraculously survived.

In that instant on May 13, every second that ticked by and every turn taken as people went about their errands and weekend fun took on the utmost importance. Those seconds determined who would be out of harm’s way and who would be directly in it the instant that truck came crashing down in an awful shriek of ripping metal and a huge cloud of dust and debris that exploded into a 100-foot-high fireball.

Among those driving to church or headed out for a family visit with a carload of kids and dogs, it would be the young couple on their way to play tennis who would be in the wrong place on Avon Road at just the wrong second.

It was that young couple whose vehicle would be crushed and whose survival would amaze a community.

Lara Wahl, 25, and Bradley Zellefrow, 26, are still too shaken to talk about the experience, which began when they drove the mile from their apartment down the steep twist of Swift Gulch Road. They passed the yellow “trucks turning on roadway” sign, the Northside Coffee and Kitchen with its popular fried croissants and the $4.15-per-gallon sign at the Shell station. They took the righthand curve on Avon Road under Interstate 70 at less than 30 mph.

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