Five teens injured in one-car crash on I-70 |

Five teens injured in one-car crash on I-70

Scott N. Miller and Veronica Whitney
Bret Hartman / Vail DailyBattle Mountain High School students were talking Tuesday about a serious one-car accident on Interstate 70 west of Edwards Sunday. From left are sophomores Karli Scherer, Sarah Simmons, Ali Carlson and Hannah Guida.

EAGLE-VAIL – Four Battle Mountain High School students are in serious condition following a one-car accident Sunday on Interstate 70 near Edwards. The driver of the car, an 18-year-old Red Canyon High School student, was also injured.Police have not yet released the names of the two ninth graders and two 10th graders from Avon and Edwards involved in the accident. All four were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Sunday evening.The accident happened when the driver, Cristobal Covarrubias, 18, of Avon, lost control of a red Mitsubishi Spyder convertible sports car. Police said Covarrubias was driving fast and headed west on I-70 near Edwards when he lost control in a right hand curve just past Wilmore Lake. Covarrubias, a cashier at the Avon Wal-Mart, overcorrected and skidded northwest across both westbound lanes, police said. The car then struck a guard rail and then skidded southwest across both westbound lane and then across the center grass median. The car struck an embankment and rolled.The three rear passengers weren’t wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the car, police said. Those passengers suffered serious injuries. The front seat passenger and Covarrubias were wearing their seatbelts and weren’t ejected.Covarrubias sustained minor injuries and the front seat passenger sustained serious injuries, police said.

All passengers and Covarrubias were taken to Vail Valley Medical Center. The critically injured passengers were then flown to Grand Junction.The crash, which is still under investigation by the Colorado State Patrol, is also the subject of rumors and chatter at Battle Mountain.Principal Mark Bullock said many students talked to counselors and teachers Monday and Tuesday.”There were a lot of upset students. Many of them were shaken,” Principal Mark Bullock said.But a number of students were still wondering just what had happened after school Tuesday.”When you go to a high school this small, any time something happens, five seconds later people are talking about it,” sophomore Hannah Guida said.Rumors were flying around the school, Guida said. She had heard two different stories herself. In one, the accident happened up Lake Creek Road. In the other, the students were in Grand Junction.

“All I’d heard was there was a really bad accident,” sophomore Sarah Simmons said. “I wish they’d have told us more.”At this point, though, teachers and counselors are talking to kids with questions, and helping however they can, Bullock said.”The biggest support adults can provide at this stage is just listening,” Bullock said. “Then, within the context of whatever they say, you provide guidance.”And support is going out to the families, too. One of the students’ teachers has been in Grand Junction talking with the families.While no one is lecturing, Bullock said there have been a few “teachable moments” in classes.”One teacher asked her class if she knew if anyone had been wearing a seat belt,” Bullock said. “The kids looked at each other like it hadn’t occurred to them.”For now, Battle Mountain is handling conversations with kids in house. Bullock said he hopes it stays that way. If one of the accident victims does die, counselors will be brought in from throughout the district.

“Hopefully it won’t come to that,” he said.Sunday’s crash is the second car accident involving a Covarrubias family member in the past two months. Cristobal Covarrubias’ sister, Monica, 19, was killed Oct. 9 in an accident in Southern Utah. She and David Najera, who also worked at Wal-Mart, were killed just a few hours after they were married Oct. 8 when the car they were riding to their honeymoon crashed.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 454, or Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

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