Vail man admits he was drunk in fatal crash
EAGLE — A Vail man had to hobble with a walker to a courtroom podium where he admitted he was drunk when he caused a wreck that killed his passenger.
John Althouse, 34, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.
The wreck, which happened at 2 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2014, killed Harold Waymond Adcock III, 30, Tres to his friends and colleagues. Adcock died of positional asphyxiation in the one-car crash in East Vail.
The Jeep came to rest on top of Adcock, and he was unable to breathe, said Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner.
Althouse was flown to Denver Health with life-threatening injuries, where a blood test found he had a 0.163 blood alcohol content and 4.4 nanograms of THC. Colorado’s driving-high limit is 5 nanograms.
Althouse was severely injured in the crash and has had the case continued while he recovered.
Even more than a year after the crash, he has to use a walker to get around. He hobbled into the courtroom and had to use it to get to the podium, where he addressed District Court Judge Russell Granger.
When Granger asked if he understood the charges, vehicular homicide and DUI, Althouse answered that he did.
“How do you plead?” Granger asked.
“Guilty,” Althouse answered quietly.
About the fatal crash
Prior to the crash, Althouse was driving his 2004 Jeep Wrangler east on South Frontage Road in East Vail.
As they negotiated a curve under Interstate 70 in East Vail, the Jeep left the pavement and hit some dirt beside the road. The Jeep slammed into a bridge abutment.
Adcock was ejected from the Jeep and it rolled over onto him and killed him.
Althouse was ejected prior to impact with the bridge abutment and was found 30 feet from the Jeep.
Neither were wearing seat belts.
Althouse will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Oct. 19.
Following Adcock’s death, friends said he loved hiking, running and all-around mountain life.
For the last four years, Adcock had worked at Up the Creek, a Vail Village restaurant on the banks of Gore Creek.
His colleagues at Up the Creek said he was “sweet” and “delightful.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.