Local student in critical condition | VailDaily.com

Local student in critical condition

Veronica WhitneyDaily Staff Writer

EAGLE-VAIL – One of five Battle Mountain High School students injured in a car crash last weekend near Edwards was still in critical condition Thursday, and a second was in serious condition, hospital officials in Grand Junction said.Ricardo Beltran, 16, of Avon, was in critical condition and Carlos Lujan, 15, also of Avon, remained in serious condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, where they were brought after the crash. The hospital wouldn’t release any more details about their health.Beltran and Lujan were in a red Mitsubishi Spyder convertible driven by Cristobal Covarrubias, 18, when he lost control. Battle Mountain High School students Flora Felix-Torres, 15, and Alejandra Cornelio, 14, were also injured in the accident.Since Monday, ninth and 10th graders at Battle Mountain High School have been raising money to help the families pay medical expenses. By Thursday, they had raised $2,300, said Hector Sosa, 15, of Avon, who is in 10th grade with Beltran and Lujan.”Ricardo (Beltran) is one of my best friends, he is like my little brother,” Sosa said. “I’ve known him since I moved here three years ago. He is a fun kid. Always has a smile. He’s always teasing people just having fun.”When he went to visit Beltran at the hospital on Tuesday, Sosa said they didn’t allow him to talk to his friend.The accident has been very difficult for Battle Mountain High School students, particularly for the Hispanic community at school, said Heather Goodrich, who teaches the students in English-as-a-second language classes. “The Hispanic community is a very tight community,” Goodrich said. “Most of the funds they raised … were in the Hispanic community in Avon, just going door to door.”Goodrich also went to the hospital and spent time with the students’ parents.”It’s been very difficult,” she said. “Ricardo is one of those kids – he lights up the room when he comes in. Very funny, extremely intelligent. Carlos is a very sweet kid, more serious than Ricardo, but likes to have fun. He takes schoolwork seriously – a really smart sweet kid.” Police said Covarrubias was driving fast and was headed west on Interstate 70 near Edwards when he lost control in a right hand curve just past Wilmore Lake.Covarrubias and the other front seat passenger were wearing their seat belts. The three teens riding in the back seat weren’t wearing them and were thrown from the car as it rolled, police said.Colorado State Patrol troopers, who are investigating the accident, d have said alcohol wasn’t involved. ==========================================Helping friendsBattle Mountain High School students are holding a fund-raiser to help the families of the four victims of a recent auto accident pay medical expenses.To contribute, send a check to a local Alpine Bank branch, made out to the BMHS Accident Vicitm’s Fund.==========================================Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado